November 20, 2015

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Integrated thinking: Connected security for smart infrastructure

ONVIF’s Latest Profile: A for Access Control Configuration

siemens access controlProfile A, ONVIF’s newest profile released in September, addresses physical access control features and configurations.

The organisation’s second access control profile, Profile A was developed to expand the feature set and configurations related to credentials, access rules and schedules and to address broader use case scenarios and a larger segment of end users.

ONVIF’s first access control profile, Profile C, was launched in March 2014.

Profile A aims to cover the most common day-to-day activities of an access control system and its access points. It benefits users, such as security guards, receptionists, human resources departments and security officers by expanding access to the system.

Profile A-conformant clients and devices allow the configuration of devices via a client such as an event/access management platform, which in part makes this broader access to the system possible.

Configuration via the client saves time and simplifies installation for integrators. Profile A also makes video/access control integration with Profile S devices and clients much easier.

Profile C extends the functionality of the ONVIF global interface specification into the physical access control arena and enables interoperability between clients and devices of physical access control systems (PACS) and network-based video systems. Profile C targets integrator, specifier and consultant users.

Its goal is to help the users more easily deploy an integrated IP-based video and access control solution using a variety of brands. The shared compatibility between edge devices and clients helps simplify installation, reduces the need for multiple proprietary monitoring systems and simplifies user training.

As part of a physical access control system, Profile C-conformant devices provide information about doors and access points. Profile C conformant clients monitor doors, access control decisions and alarms, such as an open door, change of state or an alarm generation, and provide basic door control functions, like granting access and locking/unlocking doors.

When combined with Profile S for video and audio streaming, users can also group together and configure related access control and video devices. Profile C device configuration needs to be performed on the conformant device itself.

Profile A was created in response to feedback from ONVIF members and the physical security industry at large, asking for a more advanced access control profile. It expands the feature set of Profile C to include the day-to-day operations of configuration of credentials, access rules and schedules, along with Profile S video management systems. Integration with video can be performed on the Profile A conformant client.

With Profile A, human resources and other departments can add employees to the access control system, grant and revoke access, reset anti pass-back, and report stolen or lost cards. Departments can also provide temporary access, for example when an employee is temporarily working from a remote satellite office.

Profile A features an employee leave feature for when an employee is on a long break, such as a leave of absence. His/her credentials can be temporarily disabled.

Profile A is currently in Release Candidate status. ONVIF circulates new profiles first as a ‘Release Candidate’ for six months, allowing members and stakeholders a final implementation review.

When that process is complete, the final profile is published and technology providers are able to test their products for conformance to the final version of Profile A. This process is intended to allow members to more quickly introduce conformant products when the final Profile A is released in early 2016.


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