Windows Biometric Framework overview
Updated: August 23, 2010
This topic provides an overview of the Windows Biometric Framework (WBF).
This information applies to the following operating system:
- Windows 7
In Windows versions earlier than Windows 7, every fingerprint biometric device vendor was required to provide its own technology stack, including drivers, software development kits (SDKs), and applications. The result was a range of proprietary solutions that lacked a consistent user experience and a common management platform.
The absence of a common programming interface led to incompatibility between application software and fingerprint biometric devices, as well as inconsistency in the quality and reliability of drivers and packages. Also, the differing nature of application stacks and driver models for biometrics devices complicated servicing and maintaining these proprietary solutions.
In Windows 7, the operating system provides native support for fingerprint biometric devices through WBF. This framework provides support for biometric technologies, including the following:
- An improvement in the quality and reliability of fingerprint biometric drivers and management applications.
- A more consistent user experience.
- A common platform and a set of interfaces for software developers.
- Improved manageability and serviceability of fingerprint biometric devices in Windows.
The WBF components that deliver these goals include the following:
- Core platform components, including a driver interface definition, pluggable expansion platform, and a client API.
- User experience components that provide a consistent user experience in the Windows operating system. This component includes support for the core scenarios of logon and User Account Control (UAC).
- Management components that let users and administrators configure biometrics and biometrics devices. This component supports biometric configuration either locally on a single computer system or globally for a domain through Group Policy.
- WBF component distribution that lets biometric drivers and components be distributed through online distribution channels.