Introduction to the Windows Biometric Framework

This topic provides information about the Windows Biometric Framework (WBF) for the Windows 7 operating system.

It provides an introduction to WBF, together with guidelines that independent hardware vendors (IHVs), independent software vendors (ISVs,) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) should follow when they integrate fingerprint biometric devices with the Windows 7 platform.

WBF is discussed in detail, including the following:

  • An overview of WBF and its components.
  • An overview of the biometric user experience that WBF provides.
  • Guidelines for developing WBF-compatible biometric device drivers and components.
  • Guidelines for the distribution of WBF-compatible biometric device drivers and components.

In this section


Windows Biometric Framework overview

This topic provides an overview of the Windows Biometric Framework (WBF).

Windows Biometric Framework core platform

This topic describes the Windows Biometric Framework (WBF) core platform.

Windows Biometric Framework user experience

In Windows 7, Windows Biometric Framework (WBF) provides a user experience for fingerprint biometric devices that is consistent with the user experience throughout the Windows operating system itself. This topic describes this user experience.

Windows Biometric Framework management

This topic describes how you can manage the Windows Biometric Framework (WBF).

Windows Biometric Framework driver and component distribution

This topic describes Windows Biometric Framework (BMF) driver and component distribution in Windows 7.



Biometrics is an increasingly popular technology that provides convenient access to systems, services, and resources. Biometrics relies on measuring an unchanging physical characteristic of a person to uniquely identify that person. Fingerprints are one of the most frequently used biometric characteristics, with millions of fingerprint biometric devices that are embedded in personal computers and peripherals.

In Windows 7, the Windows Biometric Framework (WBF) provides support for fingerprint biometric devices through a new set of components. These components improve the quality, reliability, and consistency of the user experience for customers who have fingerprint biometric devices.

This topic gives a high-level overview of WBF and its components, including the WBF core architecture, user experience and manageability features, and supported distribution mechanisms for the WBF components that third parties develop. This content is intended for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), independent hardware vendors (IHVs), and independent software vendors (ISVs) who want to support fingerprint biometric devices in Windows 7.

WBF improves the quality, reliability, and manageability of biometric device drivers and related components. In addition, WBF provides software developers with a common development platform and set of APIs, and gives users a more consistent biometric experience across the operating system.

Although it is still possible to use legacy approaches, WBF is the preferred and supported way to access fingerprint biometric devices in Windows 7.


biometric unit (BU)A common representation of a biometric device that is provided by the Windows Biometric Service (WBS).
BU adapter A plug-in component of a BU that provides software support for hardware functionality that is not supported by a biometric device.
Biometric Service Provider (BSP) A kernel-mode service provider that interfaces with WBS.
Fingerprint Management Application (FMA) A third-party application that extends WBF by providing management capabilities and enables additional scenarios, including enrollment experiences, Web single-sign-on, and management of proprietary attributes of a fingerprint biometric device.
Windows Biometric Driver Interface (WBDI) An interface that biometric device drivers use to plug into WBF.
Windows Biometric Framework (WBF) A framework that is introduced in Windows 7 that provides a consistent user experience and management interface for all fingerprint biometric devices.
Windows Biometric Service (WBS) The service that manages all fingerprint biometric devices through WBDI-compliant device drivers.


Related topics

Application Verifier
Kernel-Mode Driver Framework
PREfast for Drivers
User-Mode Driver Framework
WDF Verifier Control Application
Windows Driver Development
Windows Driver Model



Send comments about this topic to Microsoft

© 2015 Microsoft