Something tells me that it was not normal.
Let me take it from the begining. In an SQL Server Express 2005 I needed to encrypt one column. I did the following.
CREATE MASTER KEY ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD ='blahblah'; CREATE CERTIFICATE my_certificate ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'blahblah' WITH SUBJECT = 'Password', EXPIRY_DATE = '12/31/2099'; CREATE SYMMETRIC KEY my_symmetric_key WITH ALGORITHM = AES_256 ENCRYPTION BY CERTIFICATE my_certificate;
I created procedures to encrypt, decrypt the column and everything worked OK.
I then took the database (SQL Server 2005, Mixed Mode) and restored it to a new PC with an SQL Server 2008 Express.
WITHOUT restoring KEY and Certificate, I launched my application which use the stored procedures to encrypt/decrypt and SURPRISINGLY everything worked in the new database!! I could decrypt previously encrypted data successfully.
Is this normal??
What is the use of backing-up the Key and the Certificates then?
Thanx in advance