Getting Started Guide

Updated: July 14, 2017

Sign up for SmartKey™

To get started with SmartKey™ cloud service, you first need to sign up at

Create an account

Use your credentials to login to SmartKey. Here you can create a new account, or accept an invitation to join another account. After entering an account, you can view and manage groups, users, applications, and security objects belonging to the account.

If you have a newly-created account, use the following steps to add your first group and application to SmartKey.

Add a group

A group is a collection of security objects created by and accessible by users and applications which belong to the group. The user who creates a group automatically gets assigned the role of the group administrator. You can add more users to the group in the role of administrators or auditors. You can also add applications to the group to enable the applications to create and use security objects in that group.

To add a group, you may specify:

  • The title of the group (required).
  • A short description for the group (required).
  • Users in your account as members.
  • Applications in your account to add to the group so that they can use the security objects in the group.

Add an application

An application can use SmartKey to generate, store, and use security objects, such as cryptographic keys, certificates, or an arbitrary secret. Examples of applications include web servers, PKI servers, key vaults, etc. An application can interact with SmartKey using the REST APIs or using the PKCS#11, JCE, or CNG providers.

To add an application, you may specify:

  • Name of the application (required).
  • Type of the application. You can either choose from one of the types of application supported and tested by SmartKey (e.g, NGINX, Apache, etc.), or leave this empty if adding a custom application.
  • A short description for the application.
  • Optionally, a certificate to authenticate the application. If no certificate is provided, SmartKey will generate an API key that the application can use for authentication.
  • The group(s) to which the application belongs.

Once the application has been added, you can use either the API key or the certificate to authenticate the application to SmartKey and start making calls to do cryptographic operations.

Using SmartKey from an application

Documentation for the SmartKey™ APIs is available at An application can either call them directly, or use them through the following clients available for download at SmartKey™ Resources: