Integrating your windows store app with https nodejs web service

Published May 16, 2013 12:56 pm

During development, we typically start implementing the web service as a http endpoint. At a later stage in development we need to make it a https endpoint. This is when we need to deal with SSL certificates.

Hosting the nodejs web api server at custom https endpoint like https://myapi.mywebsite.com, buying the SSL certificate for the api subdomain from a certificate authority, getting the required .pfx file from the files given by CA for the https nodejs server are interesting topics by themselves. Today, we are talking about generated a self-signed certificate for the localhost. This enables us to run the https nodejs web server on local machine and test the windows store application to consume the apis. This suffices for the development of the app & service while other things are required for taking the app to production.

I found this helpful tool through bing to generate self signed certificate for locahost, has the nice GUI and gives a pfx file as output. Saves going through the VS command line makecert details unless you already know about it.

https nodejs server is up and running given the localhost pfx file and its password.

var fs = require('fs'),
    https = require('https');

var options = {
    pfx: 'localhost.pfx',
    passphrase: 'your password',
};

https.createServer(options, function (req, res)
{
   ...
}).listen(xyz);

but when my WinJS client WinJS.xhr() calls fails to https://localhost:xyz/
This is because the certificate authority is not trusted by the localmachine – the dev box. The localhost certificate needs to be added to ‘trusted root cas’ using certificate mgr mmc. To do this:

  1. Launch mmc. Add ‘certificates’  MMC snapin. select local computer.
  2. Right click ‘Trust Root Certificate Authorities’-. Follow All Tasks->Import to import the localhost.pfx certificate here.
  3. Follow the instructions in the import wizard

Once done, WinJS client can successfully connect to the https://localhost:xyz nodejs endpoint.

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