The Key interface is the top-level interface for all keys. It
defines the functionality shared by all key objects. All keys
have three characteristics:
This is the key algorithm for that key. The key algorithm is usually
an encryption or asymmetric operation algorithm (such as DSA or
RSA), which will work with those algorithms and with related
algorithms (such as MD5 with RSA, SHA-1 with RSA, Raw DSA, etc.)
The name of the algorithm of a key is obtained using the
An Encoded Form
This is an external encoded form for the key used when a standard
representation of the key is needed outside the Java Virtual Machine,
as when transmitting the key to some other party. The key
is encoded according to a standard format (such as X.509
or PKCS#8), and is returned using the
This is the name of the format of the encoded key. It is returned
by the getFormat method.
Keys are generally obtained through key generators, certificates,
or various Identity classes used to manage keys. There are no
provisions in this release for the parsing of encoded keys and
Submit a bug or feature - Version 1.1.8 of Java Platform API Specification
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