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Understanding certificate sets for Android

Updated on March 3, 2022

A certificate set stores all the keys and certificates that are necessary to build, run, and distribute Android apps.

A complete Android certificate set consists of the following elements:
  • App ID (Package Name)
  • Signing certificate
  • Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) server key
  • Google Services JSON
App ID (Package Name)
A unique string that identifies an Android app on mobile devices and Google Play. The value of the App ID is case-sensitive and must meet the following requirements:
  • Consists of alphanumeric characters (a-z, A-Z, 0-9) or an underscore ( _ ).
  • Consists of at least two segments; all segments must start with a letter and be separated by a period ( . ).
For example:
Signing certificate
A certificate for digitally signing entries, such as installer packages or emails. Android requires that all apps be digitally signed with a certificate before app installation. Android uses the certificate to identify the author of the app to ensure, for example, that the app updates come from an authentic source. The certificate does not have to be signed by a certificate authority.

You add a signing certificate to your Android certificate set by uploading a .p12 file with a single private key and a single certificate generated for signing.

FCM server key
A key that the Pega Platform server uses to authenticate with the FCM services. You can use this key to enable push notifications in an Android app.
Google Services JSON
A JSON configuration file for FCM-based projects. You can download this JSON file from the Firebase console and use it to enable push notifications in an Android app.

Tip: When you publish the app on Google Play, you should continue using the same App ID and signing certificate for the lifespan of the app. This approach ensures the possibility of future upgrades to your app.

What to do next: Obtain the components for an Android certificate set by completing the following tasks:

  1. Obtaining a signing certificate for Android apps

    Guarantee that the code and updates of your mobile app come from a legitimate source by creating a signing certificate for the Android certificate set that is required to generate an installation package for your Android app.

  2. Creating an Android certificate set

    Ensure that you can successfully generate an installation package with a signed Android app by creating an Android certificate set. With a certificate set, you provide the components which prove that the app code and updates come from an authentic source, and that also enable support for optional push notifications for your app.

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