How does Column Encryption work?

If using the Col-E Manager, when you select the column(s) to be encrypted, the Col-E manager will encrypt the column data on disk, and then create views that control access to the encrypted data. INSTEAD OF triggers are also created to ensure that data is written as encrypted back to the database. You will use the Manage Permissions function to determine which users will have read access to the encrypted data and which will not. The Col-E Manager has a “transparent encryption” feature that will allow for encryption to be transparent to existing applications in most cases.

If using the APIs directly, user defined functions and stored procedures are all available for incorporation into your application.