Facility Security

Open Standards in Access Control Progress with the Release of Profile A

Profile A is the newest standard from the ONVIF. Scheduled to be released this month, Profile A offers broader access control configuration and interoperability between security devices.

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To have integrated security solutions, you need open platforms and standardized protocols. Open standards allow you to build best-of-breed systems by taking the most advanced technology from a wide variety of vendors. Open standards also ensure that solutions can be easily upgraded to support changes in technology and applications. They help future-proof investment in today’s security hardware.

The Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) is a leading global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products. Access control is the newest part of ONVIF’s business. By expanding its scope to include access control, the ONVIF is taking a further step in facilitating the integration of IP-based security devices using a global open standard.

Profile A, ONVIF’s latest access control standard is set to launch this month. Derek Wang, ONVIF Profile A working group chair, explains how Profile A was developed and the benefits gained from this new access control profile.

Access control was first addressed with Profile C in 2013, according to Wang. Profile C addresses common functionalities of IP access control systems such as event management and door control.

“For Profile C, we started to think about how to make interoperability between the devices and the client for access control hardware and also video management solutions,” said Wang.

Technological innovations in access control along with end user and integrator demand for integrations and interoperability between access control, video surveillance, and other systems requires a complete standardization of IP network-based communications.

“Profile A broadens access control configuration. It has three main features: credential management, schedule management, and access rule management,” said Wang. “Profile A offers more access control solutions.”

Profile A is for products used in a physical access control system (PACS). A Profile A conformant device can retrieve information, status, and events, and configure entities such as access rules, credentials, and schedules. A Profile A conformant client can provide configurations of access rules, credentials, and schedules. The client can also retrieve and receive standardized PACS-related events.

For broader access control configuration, Profile A offers:

  • Credential Management to assign, grant, or revoke credentials.
  • Schedule Management to set up schedules, reschedule, or modify schedules.
  • Access rule management changes privileges or rules of access granted or access denied.
  • Integration between access control and IP video management systems.

“Combining Profile A and Profile C provides a full solution for access control and also integrated video management solutions,” said Wang. “Then going further, combining other profiles, Video Profiles, for example Profile S, you build an even better solution.”

Current ONVIF video specifications cover IP configuration, device discovery, device management, PTZ camera control, video analytics, etc. Profile G is for edge storage and retrieval, and Profile S is for IP-based video systems.