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We have a PHP/MySQL application that we deploy from a central source to a number of different servers - all CentOS 5 running with WHM/cPanel. Our deployment process allows us to roll out new clones of this application without needing to mess about with creating accounts/databases etc. This is all very good but we are increasingly needing to install SSL certificates for these sites. Compared to the automation we use elsewhere this always seems an overly lengthy process requiring manual intervention at various stages. It would be very good if we were able to automate some/all of this process. These cannot be self-signed certificates but we would be happy to pay a premium if we are removing the manual work.

Any ideas?

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What is the blocking point for automate this process ?

Is there an infinite number of state ? Will your process be able to pass the Turing test when developed ?

If no that mean it's a finite state process, so he can be automated. You need to put down carefully each step of the process, and look how you can automate it step by step.

I do suppose it's start by passing the name of the server to your SSL provider in a form, then wait for an answer from them, this is the mail interaction who block you ? I am quite sure you can create a back-end DB who will follow the status of the request and send e-mail to the provider to confirm the request, or to you to keep you updated of the status of the request.

The installation of the certificate will be easy for you as I understand you already automate a lot of other steps.

Nevertheless there is also commercial solution able to automate complicated process, but they are quite expensive if you plan to use them just for one process.


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thanks for your help, analysing the process it seems it will be massively difficult and somewhat unreliable so we will have to do it manually. – seengee Sep 7 '09 at 10:59

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