M2SYS BioPlugin 6.0
Strengths: Easy-to-use, low-cost biometric SDK for application developers
Weaknesses: Nothing in the context of the product type
Verdict: If you are adding biometric capability to custom applications, this is for you. It will simplify your task significantly
BioPlugin from M2SYS is similar to a software development kit (SDK), except that most of the work is done for the developer in advance. This product allows developers to include biometric access control within their applications by adding some simple code that communicates with the BioPlugin client-side software through an ActiveX bridge. Because all the biometric work is done by the client and server sides of the product, all the application needs to do is communicate. That means there is no need to incorporate a lot of specialised biometric code in the developer's application.
The product has a client side and a server side. The former collects and transmits information from the M2SYS fingerprint scanner. It then sends that information to the server in an encrypted format.
The server has two functions. The first is to analyse the fingerprint data and compare it to enrolment information stored on a standard SQL server. The server then accepts or rejects the fingerprint credential. The second function is to communicate with both the client and the attached database. It communicates with the client in order to collect data and return a pass or reject decision. It connects with the SQL database to store relevant data. BioPlugin supports several popular SQL databases, including MS Access, SQL Server and Oracle.
We found that implementation of this product is acceptably easy for an application developer. M2SYS provides sample code in several programming languages. For system administrators, installation of the client and server are a snap. The product comes encapsulated in Microsoft msi files, making enterprise-wide deployment very straightforward. The product is adequately documented, using the client and server help files as documentation. These files are provided separately on the distribution CD.
Support is available from M2SYS, but the company heavily uses integrators, and most support will come from them. However, the M2SYS team is in contact with integrators. The product's features are typical of those in an SDK, but require very little work to integrate with an application under development.
At £252 for the SDK and one fingerprint scanner, the price is extremely reasonable.