A file containing an entity's identification information and public key that is submitted to a certificate authority (CA) in order to obtain a digital certificate.
A certificate request file is a text file encoded using Base64 encoding. This text file is generated by an application in response to the entity’s request for a key pair and digital certificate.
The entity here refers to the individual, system, company, or organization requesting the certificate. The certificate request is then submitted to a CA to obtain a digital certificate for the entity.
The Key Manager utility in Internet Services Manager (the utility used to manage Internet Information Services) can be used to generate a key pair and a standard PKCS #10 format certificate request file. The certificate request file is a simple text file that can be viewed with Microsoft Notepad.
If this file is submitted to a public certificate authority, such as VeriSign, Inc., or to the company’s own certificate authority, such as Microsoft Certificate Server, a standard X.509 format digital certificate will be granted in return.