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Will biometric authentication devices integrate with in-house software?

Biometric devices may provide an added level of security, but how much effort is required to integrate them with existing software and systems, particularly those systems custom made for an organization? Learn more in this expert response from Randall Gamby.

We have built our own in-house time and attendance software. Do you know if any biometric devices available in the market could be integrated with such software? We're running Windows 2000.
The simple answer is: All the biometric devices on the market will work. But I guess this requires a qualification. Biometric authentication devices, from USB finger readers to keyboards with integrated readers, are all recognized by software as input devices, like a mouse, keypad or keyboard. Along with the device, you get the OS drivers so your system recognizes the device when it's plugged in.

I've experimented with several biometric devices and found that they are easy to use and integrate into my software modules. Since you developed your own software, you'll have to ensure you can call out the device and are able to hook into the repository where the biometric credentials are stored (whether locally or at the enterprise level). As I stated above, they're fairly easy to integrate; the part that could be hard is how flexible the authentication module of your software is.

This was last published in July 2010

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