What Is Active Directory and How You Can Get Certified In It

We are living in a digital era. From retail to wholesale, transactions are happening through an online platform. Considering this, data privacy is a crucial thing. To maintain the secrecy and confidentiality of the information, we have switched to cryptography. Cryptography is used to protect the data using codes and public key encryption. Any electronic document which uses public key encryption to digitally verify the owner and their signature, authorized by a third party entity, is known as a ‘Digital Certificates’.  

Digital certificates differ from traditional certificates as it uses encrypted data to verify digital signatures. Read on to learn more about the Active Directory and how it relates to digital certificates. Here you will be given a brief overview of Active Directory and its certificate services. There are several Active Directory certification training online if you wish to master the configuration of directory services.

Understanding Active Directory

Active Directory, introduced in Windows Server 2008, is a privately-owned directory service of Microsoft. The primary service of the Active Directory is domain services. However, there are other services in the Active Directory; one such service is the Active Directory Certificate Services. If you are looking to gain mastery over an active directory, one way is to clear Microsoft certifications.

Active Directory Certificate Services

Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS), a server role that constructs a critical public infrastructure (PKI) along with digital certificates and signatures for an enterprise. AD CS creates, constructs and allocates authentic digital certificate services. These digital certificates impart:

  • Discreetness via encryption.
  • Authentic digital signatures.
  • Issues authentic certificate keys for a user or a computer network.

Microsoft had an Active Directory 70-742 certification, but this 70-742 is no longer available. They recommend Microsoft certifications for MCSA Windows Server 2016, such as Azure Administrator Associate, Azure Solutions Architect Expert and Azure Security Engineer Associate.

Role of AD CS

AD CS issues all Public Key and Private Key Infrastructure connected constituents as role services. Every role service is in charge of a specific part of creating the certificate infrastructure. These role services are:

  • Certification AuthorityThe CAs perform tasks like issuing certificates, revoking certificates, and publishing authority information access. CA are of two kinds:
  • Enterprise CA
  • Stand-alone CA.

The enterprise CA has to be a domain member who can furnish certificates with digital signatures, validate access to secure web browsers, and protect email dealings. However, a stand-alone CA can operate offline without domain services.

  • Certification Authority Web Enrollment – This segment gives a method for issuing and renewing certificates when the user’s network is not joined with the main server.
  • Online Responder – This configures and governs the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP). It relies on OCSP to dictate the revocation status of the digital certificate. Online Responders can operate certificate status appeals more effectively than certificate revocation lists (CRLs).
  • Network Device Enrollment Service – This segment helps devices and routers acquire certificates from AD CS.
  • Certificate Enrollment Web Service – This segment works as a proxy client between a device operating Windows and the Certifying Authority.
  • Certificate Enrollment Policy Web Service – It acquires certificate enrollment policy information. This segment provides the location of the CAs, and the kinds of certificates called for by the CAs. The enrollment policy can be enabled using group policy settings or applied individually to client computers.

Read More – The Ultimate Guide to Find a SharePoint Development Company

Validity of a Certificate

Every digital certificate has a validity period post which is considered invalid. You may re-validate a certificate by revoking it before the expiry.

Perks to using AD CS

A few benefits of using Active Directory Certificate Services are:

  • Directly gets user details from the Active Directory.
  • Configures Active Directory policies for particular groups.
  • It allows you to decide which users and devices are allowed different certificates.
  • Certificates come with a validity period and can be configured for an automatic renewal period too.
  • The installation process for AD CS does not require any intervention.
  • It is reasonable, efficient and easy to share copies of certificates.
  • Active Directory can be connected to Microsoft Power BI. Power BI (Business Intelligence) is proprietary software owned by Microsoft to assist users in studying and envisioning their data. There are several Power Bi Training online in case you are looking to grow your enterprise.


Active Directory Certification Services effectively governs certificate infrastructure for any organization in a Windows domain server. AD CS can be utilized to amplify security by securing the identification of an individual, computer, or private key. AD CS provides a cost-efficient, effective and assured way to oversee the supply and usage of certificates.

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