Configuring certificate expiration monitoring

When certificates expire, they can no longer be used by the system. WebSphere® Application Server provides a utility to monitor certificates that are close to expiration or have already expired. You can schedule certificate monitoring, or you can request certificate monitoring on demand. You can also configure options for deleting expired certificates and for recreating certificates.

Before you begin

Important: For an expired certificate chain or an expired certificate authority (CA) certificate chain, you are required to update the entire chain. You must generate a new certificate chain that has the individual signer certificates. For a CA certificate chain, this may require importing a new certificate chain, usually through a new certificate request file (CSR).
Important: The Certificate Expiration Monitor does not handle replacing client self-signed certificates and is not capable of sending the new signer certificate needed for trust. If the client is a web server plug-in, it will not be able to securely communicate with the application server after self-signed certificate replacement.
WebSphere Application Server notifies you when a certificate is about to expire. Complete the information required for notification messaging in Notifications.

About this task

Complete the following configuration steps in the administrative console:


  1. Click Security > SSL certificate and key management > Manage certificate expiration.
  2. Type a number for the number of days threshold in the Expiration notification threshold field.
    WebSphere Application Server issues an expiration warning n number of days before expiration.
  3. Select or check one or more of the following options:
    • Expiration check notification. Select the method from the list that you want to use to receive your notification.
    • Automatically replace expiring self-signed certificates. If you do not want to recreate the self-signed certificate, clear the check box.
      Attention: When using writable System Authorization Facility (SAF) keyrings in your configuration, the certificate expiration monitor does not replace expired certificates in the writable SAF keyrings, but only provides a notification of the expiration.
    • Delete expiring certificates and signers after replacement. If you do not want to delete the expired certificates and signers, clear the check box.
    • Enable checking. If you do not want to have certificate monitoring enabled, clear the check box.
  4. Enter the time of day when you want certificate monitoring to take place to schedule the running of the certificate expiration monitor.
  5. Select one of the following options:
    • Check by calendar. For Weekday, enter the day of week that you want to run the certificate expiration monitor. For Repeat Interval, specify the frequency to run the certificate monitor.
    • Check by number of days. Enter a number for how frequently the monitor runs, in number of days.
  6. Type the number of days before the threshold date in which the certificate monitor warns that a certificate is about to be replaced.
    When a certificate is within the expiration threshold, and automatic replacement is enabled, certificates are replaced. This value specifies the time period before the threshold when warnings are issued by the certificate monitor concerning upcoming replacement dates.
  7. Click Apply (Remember to restart the WebSphere Application Server so that these settings are active.).


After completing the settings, a certificate expiration monitor object and a schedule are set up in the configuration. After you restart the WebSphere Application Server, the certificate expiration monitor runs according to the configurations options that you just configured.

What to do next

You can generate reports that state which certificates have expired. The reports identify the notifications of certificate replacements and deletions. The report is sent according to the notification option that you specified.