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 to build biometrics seamlessly into the existing infrastructure.

We found it to be quite easy to deploy and use. The main server is built on an i5 OS system and this server can be placed in any location - either in the environment or it can be accessed by clients remotely. Clients are deployed to each of the workstation machines and the clients are setup with the server IP address for communication. Once this is complete, the system is up and running and management is done from the administration client.

From a performance standpoint, this is a solid system. It can be customized 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. There is also a toolkit available that lets developers in the enterprise 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 single PDF document that can be downloaded from the website. This manual includes all the product information - from deployment to configuration and enrolling users. Also included are many screen shots and step-by-step configuration and enrollment instructions.

Valid Technologies provides one year of standard technical support as part of the purchase price of the system. After the first year, support is optional through a support agreement at a cost of 20 percent of initial user license cost. Technical support is available by phone and email, as well as via a self-support portal, which has software downloads, documentation and access to a support wiki.

With a cost starting at $8,500 just for the software and licenses, and an additional cost of about $30 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.