Advanced Imaging

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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

SDKs Provide a Wealth of Capabilities

Power, Ease of Use and Flexibility
Horde3D is a small open-source 3-D rendering SDK.
Media Cybernetics' Image-Pro Plus.
Mercury Computer Systems, Inc.'s MultiCore Plus SDK 1.0, an intuitive programming environment for the Cell Broadband Engine and other multi-core processors.
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By Lee J. Nelson
Contributing Editor

A software development kit (SDK) typically is a set of programming tools, utilities and function libraries which aids users in creating applications for certain software, specialty hardware, frameworks, compute platforms, operating environments or the like. It may be as simple as an application programming interface (API) to a particular language. Or, it could include sophisticated protocols for communicating with an embedded system. An SDK similarly might comprise sample code, technical notes, help files and documentation. Providers of SDKs for specific systems or subsystems sometimes substitute another term for the word software. As an example, Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, Wash.) supplies a Windows Media Development Kit, Apple Computer, Inc. (Cupertino, Calif.) offers a Driver Development Kit (DDK) for coding device drivers, while PalmSource, Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) brands its as a PalmOS Development Kit (PDK).

An often cited underlying architecture, "component object model" is a foundation for software componentry, introduced by Microsoft in 1993. It enables interprocess communication and dynamic object creation in any supported programming language. The acronym COM—which didn't come into widespread usage until 1997—frequently encompasses OLE (object linking and embedding), OLE Automation, ActiveX, COM+ and DCOM (distributed component object model) technologies.

On the following pages, we review a few prominent development kits for imaging which run the gamut from bioscience and machine vision, through medical imaging, simulation and on to biometric applications.

Griaule (Campinas, Brazil) promotes GrFinger as a groundbreaking biometric SDK, owing to its support for multiple programming languages including C++, Java, .NET, Borland Software's (Cupertino, Calif.) Delphi, Microsoft Visual BASIC and Microsoft Visual FoxPro. Both ActiveX and DLL components are available. Delivered with code samples and thorough documentation, GrFinger permits fingerprint recognition to be inserted into an existing program or inside a Java applet for Web-based applications.

GrFinger is device-independent and interoperates with off-the-shelf fingerprint readers from, for example, DigitalPersona, Inc. (Redwood City, Calif.) and Microsoft Corporation. Its fast matching speed (up to 35,000 fingerprints per second) make the SDK more than adequate for even the most demanding needs. And, while some solutions offer only one-to-one verification or one-to-few matching, GrFinger performs virtually limitless one-to-many comparisons.

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