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What is the WSS Certificate Web Service?

I found that on Windows Server 2012 Essentials it was installed automagically. I've stopped the site for now, but would like to know why its there.

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In this context, "WSS" stands for "Windows Server Solutions," which is the platform name for the Small Business/Essentials versions of Windows server. So, "WSS Certificate Web Service" would be "Windows Server Solutions Certificate Web Service."

So, it's a web server that serves certificates for the Windows Server Solutions platform.

This service is used to allow certificate-based authentication for remote connections to the server that require certificate-based authentication. It's a web service because Microsoft made a design decision in this line of products to expose their APIs over a web service where possible, presumably in the interests of making them easier to work with, which would make sense given the target market of this product line.

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