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Open Spec Advances Interoperability for Physical Security Systems


Open standards for physical security took a step forward with the release of an open specification that allows for the mixing and matching of access control devices and clients within a system, facilitating interoperability for multi-vendor projects.

The new specification was released by ONVIF, a global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products. The release is known as Profile A and it establishes a standardized interface for access control clients and expands the configuration options of ONVIF-conformant access control systems.

An ONVIF profile has a fixed set of functionalities that must be supported by a device or client. It ensures that a client that conforms to Profile A will work with a device that also conforms to Profile A.

Profile A encompasses daily access control functions for granting and revoking employee credentials, creating and updating schedules and making changes to access control privileges within the system. Profile A deepens interoperability within the access control market by increasing functionality and system management functions at the client level, enabling the configuration of credentialing, scheduling, and access privileges through the Profile A-conformant client interface.

Profile A provides a pathway for integrating access control panels and hardware with management software from different manufacturers, according to Per Björkdahl, ONVIF steering committee chair. The pathway allows a different manufacturer’s access control management software to be installed in the future, eliminating the need to “rip and replace” hardware, he says.

The interoperability established by Profile A allows end users and system integrators to make hardware and software choices based on functionality and performance, and will also bridge the gap between legacy hardware and new software if both are Profile A conformant. The new Profile further enables integration between access control and IP video management systems when combined with ONVIF Profile C for basic access control and Profile S for video streaming.

This Quick Read was submitted by ONVIF, an open industry forum that provides and promotes standardized interfaces for interoperability of IP-based physical security products. Click here to read about six critical steps in planning an access control system on Facilitiesnet.com.

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