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A Smart Card Framework for .NET

| Thursday, January 24, 2013

The .NET Framework has been introduced in 2002, and the version 3.0 has just been released in November. So far, Microsoft hasn't included Smart Card classes in .NET, and if you want to develop a Smart Card aware application, you have to develop your own classes. Fortunately, it is much easier to reuse existing code in .NET than with Java. In Windows, if you need to use Smart Card, you just need to use the PC/SC API in your program. This API comes in C functions or COM objects that wrap the PC/SC functions. The .NET Framework offers two types of interoperabilities with the legacy code: the COM interoperbility, and the P/Invoke feature for native code interoperability.


This article demonstrates how to use the interoperability features of .NET and use them to write a simple framework to use a Smart Card in your applications. A Smart Card is a small embedded device that receives commands through a card reader using the PC/SC Win32 API. If you want to use this API, you will need a Smart Card reader to use a Smart Card such as a SIM card.

A Simple Smart Card Framework

The SC framework I'm going to describe is composed of an interface to communicate with the Smart Card, a few classes to wrap the different parameters of a Smart Card command, and the implementation classes depending on the interop mode we are using.

The Smart Card interface provides a simple access to a Smart Card for .NET programs. We will see later how to implement this interface using both the interoperability techniques.

public interface ICard
    string[] ListReaders();
    void Connect(string Reader, SHARE ShareMode, 
                 PROTOCOL PreferredProtocols);
    void Disconnect(DISCONNECT Disposition);
    APDUResponse Transmit(APDUCommand ApduCmd);
    void BeginTransaction();
    void EndTransaction(DISCONNECT Disposition);

The classes APDUCommand and APDUResponse are used to send the command and get the response from the card. SHARE, PROTOCOL, and DISCONNECT are constants used by PC/SC.

public class APDUCommand
    public APDUCommand(byte bCla, byte bIns, 
           byte bP1, byte bP2, byte[] baData, byte bLe);
    public void Update(APDUParam apduParam);
    public override string ToString();
    public byte    Class;
    public byte    Ins;
    public byte    P1;
    public byte    P2;
    public byte[]  Data;
    public byte    Le;

public class APDUResponse
    public APDUResponse(byte[] baData);
    public byte[]    Data;
    public byte    SW1;
    public byte    SW2;
    public ushort    Status;
    public override string ToString();

Read more: Codeproject
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