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Icon-SCaliburSCalibur is a Java® middleware SDK that enables developers to easily integrate smart cards and tokens into applications. It focusses on distributed use cases where access credentials are not available next to the token. It also contains example applications which allow rapid prototyping and easy show case setups.

In a nutshell

Electronic ID (eID) cards and Machine Readable Travel Documents (eMRTDs) are becoming more and more popular. As an important requirement, the data stored on these cards has to be protected with sophisticated authentication and encryption mechanisms. Only authorised parties may have access to the card chip memory in clearly defined ways. On the other hand, it should not be possible to fake or copy a card with the data stored on it.

The authentication and encryption mechanisms required for eID cards and MRTDs are usually provided by standardised security protocols. Typical examples are BAC, EACv1, EACv2 and SAC. These protocols make use of advanced cryptographic methods, like symmetric encryption, asymmetric key exchange, and digital certificates.

cryptovision’s SCalibur is a distributed smart card middleware SDK that has been created to support all relevant eID protocols and to make their use as easy as possible. SCalibur provides the developer with powerful APIs to easily control the protocol flow. Based on Java, SCalibur is platform-independent and can be integrated into existing applications across multiple devices.

With SCalibur, you don’t have to worry about learning the nitty-gritty details of smart handling and security protocols. Your developers can focus on business logic and user experience. Time to market is extremely short. Rapid prototyping is easily possible.

Frequently asked questions

What Is A Distributed Middleware?

Reading sensitive data from smart cards or eID documents requires sophisticated authentication mechanisms before access is granted. For this purpose, a number of network protocols are available, which have for the most part been developed by civil aviation organisation ICAO and the German IT security agency BSI. With a distributed smart card middleware it is possible to use these protocols without the necessity to reimplement them.


The Technical Part


Supported systems

  • Windows 7, Windows 8.1
  • Linux Ubunutu 14.04 LTS, RedHat 6.5, OpenSuse 13.2
  • OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), Mavericks (10.9), Yosemite (10.10.3)
  • Oracle JDK 1.7 & 1.8

Product Brief

Technical Data Sheet

  • SCalibur contains the following components

      • Low Level Interface: This interface can be used to achieve a higher control and to develop software that needs to be closer to the hardware and the card profile.
      • High Level Interface: This interface can be used to comfortably and rapidly develop applications on a higher abstraction level (e.g. direct access to data groups).
      • Standalone Terminal: This is a substantial part of the provided examples to demonstrate the usage of the middleware SDK and non-distributed use-cases with a graphical user interface.
      • Use Case Examples: These are minimal working examples that help developers to build their own SCalibur-based applications.
      • Detailed Documentation: The documentation consists of three documents (Getting started, Manual and Standalone Terminal Manual), as well as a comprehensive JavaDoc™ documentation for developers.
      • Biometric Support: Includes fingerprint recognition with Match-on-Card (MoC) functionality and support for multiple fingerprint scanners.
  • SCalibur
    SCalibur is an advanced distributed smart card middleware SDK supporting all relevant eID protocols and complex trust models.

    Protocol Support Made Easy
    Depending on the applications, an eID document needs to apply different security protocols like BAC, EACv1, EACv2, SAC or PACE. A developer using SCalibur does not need to know how the details of these protocols work. He can rather focus on developing the applications.

    Runs on all Components of an eID System
    SCalibur cares about protocol handling on all clients and servers involved in a transaction. It’s the one-stop-shop solution for all components of an eID system.

    SCalibur is based on Java. This makes SCalibur platform-independent.

    Integration of Biometrics
    In addition to using PINs it is possible to use fingerprints to protect smart cards. SCalibur supports ISO compliant Match-on-Card
    biometric technology.

    Integration of Hardware Modules
    SCalibur supports contact as well as contactless card readers. Card readers with or without PIN pad or fingerprint scanners can be used. MRZ scanners, HSMs and SAMs can be used.

    Ease of Use
    SCalibur comes with example applications and extensive documentation. It is very easy to use, even for less experienced developpers.

    Rapid Deployment
    SCalibur allows for minimizing time to market of your own implementations. Modular design easily allows you to integrate your own components. You can even extend SCalibur’s scope. Rapid prototyping is easily possible.

    SCalibur is a Java(R) SDK and available for Windows, Linux and OS X.

    • Supports all relevant eID security protocols (BAC, PACE (incl. PACE-CAM), EACv1, EACv2, SAC)
    • Hides complex protocol details behind easy-to-use APIs
    • Based on open standards
    • Modular architecture
    • Biometry support
    • Java-based, runs on many platforms

Success Story

With 160 million citizens, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. As part of an ambitious presidential initiative, adult Nigerians and resident legal aliens will receive advanced multipurpose electronic identity cards. The supporting PKI will represent one of the largest ever built, including several CAs, a dozen certificate types and more than 100 million card holders. cryptovision plays a critical role in this mammoth project, as the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has chosen several PKI and smart card solutions provided by the Gelsenkirchen-based company. SCalibur is used on identity verification terminals as one of these solutions.

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