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Cryptography is considered by many users to be a complicated subject. An architecture for a cryptographic application programming interface simplifies customer use of cryptographic services by helping to ensure compliance with national and international standards and by providing intuitive high-level services that may be implemented on a broad range of operating systems and underlying hardware. This paper gives an overview of the design rationale of the recently announced Common Cryptographic Architecture Cryptographic Application Programming Interface and gives typical application scenarios showing methods of using the services described in the architecture to meet security requirements.
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