Strengths: Highly-flexible product that can be designed to fit any application
Weaknesses: Expensive, and requires the purchase of separate scanners and system hardware
Verdict: Flexibility and good performance make this worth looking at
The Valid Secure System Authentication (VSSA) from Valid Technologies has some very unique and flexible features. With little time and effort, it provides a platform for building biometrics seamlessly into the existing infrastructure.
We found the product to be quite easy to deploy and use. The main server is built on an i5 OS system, which can be placed in any location - either in the environment or accessed remotely by clients.
Clients are deployed to each of the workstation machines and are set up with the server IP address for communication. Once this is complete, the system is up and running, managed by the administration client.
From a performance standpoint, this is a solid system. It can be customised to integrate with virtually any application or logon scheme. This applies to domains, applications, logons and websites hosted on any platform, including both Windows and 'green screen' applications.
A toolkit is available that allows developers to design custom applications for use with the system. These applications can be written in RPG/ILE, JAVA, C++, COBOL and Visual Basic, among others.
Documentation is in the form of a PDF document that can be downloaded from the website. It contains all of the product information - from deployment to configuration and enrolling users - and includes screen shots, along with step-by-step configuration and instructions on enrolment.
Valid Technologies provides one year of standard, technical support in the purchase price. After the first year, support is optional through a support agreement at a cost of 20 per cent of the initial user licence cost. Technical support is available by phone, email and via a self-support portal, which offers software downloads, documentation and access to a support wiki.
With a starting cost of £4,400 just for the software and licences, and an additional cost of around c£16 per fingerprint scanner, this product can become expensive very quickly. However, we do find its ease of use and tremendous flexibility earn it a good value for money rating.