There are a variety of user interfaces for national Certification Authorities (CAs) across the NGIs. In the last couple of years several communities have been working on graphical front-ends to their CA service using technologies such as Java.
It is our aim to bring these communities together and "compare notes" so we can see what could be done to make our current software more reusable and seek compatible interfaces.
Producing tools which were structured in a more similar way with similar interfaces would be a bigstep in the direction towards users being able to "plug-in" one of several clients, combining effort from multiple NGIs into a single client or even just enabling the existing clients to be more easily ported to another CA.
We are looking for a single long session to group together the developers of these new java tools so we can try and learn from each other and discuss future directions.
Ideally we'd like to aim for a common API for a client on a user's machine to talk to a CA Server (whether offline or online). It would send certificate requests for new certificates, renewals and revocations. This aim is likely to be some way off, but the first step along that road would be to bring the communities together at the CF.
Format would be a short talk on the capabilities of each our current clients and APIs. We would then seek opportunities to collaborate on seeking areas for reuse.