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Create an ADCS Certificate Issuer

This guide describes how to create a Certificate Issuer for a Microsoft ADCS (Active Directory Certificate Services) instance

A Certificate Issuer ties the following configuration items together, such that a user can then request certificates by just specifying the Issuer name:

  1. A Credential
    This is an account on the system. It may be a service account or a user account
  2. An ADCS Certificate Template
    This is the template on the ADCS system that you wish to obtain certificates from
  3. An ADCS Instance
    The actual Microsoft CA instance that will issue the certificate

Once these items have been configured as a Certificate Issuer, users with permissions may then request certificates from the UI or API


  • You must have an instance of ADCS installed in a domain

  • The ADCS Driver must be installed onto a machine in the same domain as the ADCS instance

  • You must have the correct credentials (username/password) for the Microsoft certificate template you wish to target

    The template must be configured with the correct permissions to allow the credential to enrol for a certificate
    For more information see Setting Microsoft ADCS Template Permissions

  • The ADCS Driver must be able to access the certdog database

    If the certdog system is all installed on the same machine, this will be in place. If you have installed the ADCS Driver separately, you need to ensure that port 27017 (the default database port) is open. Refer to the ADCS Driver document for further details

1. Create a Credential

Skip this step if you already have a credential created. If not, follow the guide on creating a credential here

The credential you create must be for an account that has the correct permissions on the CA and template. See Setting Microsoft ADCS Template Permissions

The account should also be a service account. See here for details on assigning the correct permissions for a service account

2. Create a Certificate Issuer

Select Certificate Issuers from the menu


Click Add New Issuer


From the drop down select Microsoft CA and click Next


Enter a Name for this issuer - this will be the name referenced when requesting certificates

Enter the CA Configuration. This is the value returned for Config when certutil is run on a machine in the same domain as the CA. E.g. Opening a command prompt and typing certutil will return something like the following:


In this case the value that would be entered for Configuration is\Krestfield CA

Select the Credential that has the permissions for the CA and template you are configuring. The Credential must have enrol permissions on the selected template

The Get Available Templates button will now be present:


Click the Get Available Templates button. A request for templates will now be made to the CA referenced in the configuration using the credential specified. If the CA is contactable and the credential has permissions


If successful, the templates will be displayed. Select from the drop-down which template you wish to configure with this issuer


For Permitted Agents, if running a single agent (i.e. the default) only one will be present and it will be selected. If you have multiple agents configured, select the agent(s) you wish to process the requests for this CA

Note that the agent must be approved for it to appear. If no agent is shown, select Agents from the menu and approve the required agent

Select the team that will have access to this Certificate Issuer. All members of this team will be able to request and revoke certificates from this issuer

Finally, if you wish to apply any DN restrictions to this issuer, select the DN Restriction from the drop down list. See here for details on configuring DN Restrictions

Click Add

The Certificate Issuer is now ready to issue certificates. Selecting one of the Request options will now display the issuer as a selection

If you do not see the Issuer as an option, check that you are a member of the Team that has access. See here for more information on managing teams

If you wish to request a certificate by just providing a DN i.e. with certdog generating the CSR on your behalf, then a CSR Generator must also be available. See Create a CSR Generator for more details