In the past, it was a recommended best practice to use digital certificates to sign custom content. The latest Revit 2017 release goes a step further; requiring the user to click a button to allow 3rd party content be loaded into Revit. Ideate Software tech support has received some questions from users seeing an unfamiliar message referencing digital certificates and digital signatures.

When launching Revit 2017 with any of Ideate Software add-ins for the first time, Revit will display the following message:

Revit Security Box

‘This signed add-in has been found’ 

The message simply means that Autodesk has accepted the validity of our security certificate, and the content about to be loaded has the correct digital signature.

More details about the message and the digital certificate itself can be found by clicking the ‘show details’ button. The user can select the ‘always load’ option, and never see the security message again. 

For any content that does not have a valid certificate, Revit would display a different, ‘invalid signature’ message. The recommendation is to not load such content, and contact the publisher for a digitally signed version instead.

What is a Digital Certificate?

Digital Certificate

A digital certificate is essentially a confirmation issued by a trusted authority. It allows the holder to digitally sign files or other custom content with a recognized digital signature, to let the end user know that the file has not been altered since it was created.

There is only a relatively small number of these trusted authorities; they can be Internet security companies, or others (e.g Symantec, or Go Daddy Secure). Their certification process is evaluated and accepted by search engines like Google, or software developers like Autodesk, to allow 3rd party content to be safely used within their applications.

Autodesk References:

Learn more about Autodesk digital certificates.

Learn more about Autodesk digital signature references.

Jan Sako
Technical Support Manager

Jan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. He has extensive experience in customer issue resolution and general IT troubleshooting. His other passions are green technologies, specifically reuse and recycling, and various other environmental initiatives. Jan previously worked within the sustainability movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently, Jan represents Ideate’s UK office, located in the picturesque town of Brekhamsted with its Norman castle ruins dating back to 1066.