Can I Integrate Lenel With Honeywell?

Hi

Does anyone have experience integrating Lenel access control to another enterprise level access control system?

I am reviewing a proposal to integrate two access control systems together one of which is Lenel and the other is Honeywell. The integrator is offering a solution using Lenel OAAP to integrate a Honeywell systemlocated at a remote site back to a corporate Lenel system.

I would like to discuss the level of integration and interoperability available through this type of connection and what if any limitations, problems were encountered.


Hello. Interesting question!

Depending on the Honeywell system, it may be possible to use the hardware as part of a Lenel system in a direct fashion, as both companies use Mercury Security-based controllers and interfaces.

But your question goes beyond that - if I understand it correctly, you are saying that a standalone Honeywell system would integrate with a seperate OnGuard system via OAAP. The business case for offering something like that is cloudy at best. If it is possible, Lenel nor Honeywell advertise it:

Lenel's OAAP API claims no competing access control platforms as partners.

Lenel does publish a subset API for integrating OnGuard into other platforms (called DataConduIT), but that would be the reverse of what you're reviewing.

I have asked Lenel for comment/clarity on your question and will update when they respond.

"The integrator is offering a solution using Lenel OAAP to integrate a Honeywell system located at a remote site back to a corporate Lenel system."

A, I recommend you drilling down into the details here. I'd ask:

  • Did the integrator develop this himself?
  • If no, where is he getting it from? Provide full details.
  • If yes, has the integrator already developed it or is he planning to do? If he is planning to do it, I would run, as it is super high risk. If he has already developed it, make him show you this working completely in production.

As Brian has already explained, this seems like something that one or both sides would try to block since they are direct competitors. And while Lenel lists dozens of systems they integrate with via OOAP, none of their major competitors are listed.

This is a great question, and I understang that IPVM by defention isn't in the access control business per se, I'm glad you do post aboutsome access control, and allow these types of questoins to be asked.

FYI - I can spell "definition"

Well thanks for the kudos, but be aware that Access is a core area of coverage for the site!

In the last three years, we've published over 350 articles and tests, and we offer an Access Fundamentals training class for those who want to learn more. :)

What I am saying: 'Yes, we are in the access control business' of market coverage and reviews.

For example, here's our Lenel OnGuard Tested report. We recently released an Avigilon Access Control Tested report, and even broke down the HID Troubles Behind CEO Ouster.

If you have questions about access, we welcome them here!

IPVM is in the access control business. We have an in-depth access control course (next running in October) and nearly 400 items on access control. Also, see some of our access control tests, such as Avigilon Access Control Tested, Lenel OnGuard Tested, Genetec and Milestone Access Tested, Axis Access Control Tested, HID Edge Solo Tested, etc.

My apologies John, I didn't realize your access control articles were so abundant.

I am very curious as to what form this integration would take: Are both systems to remain in place and just share cardholder, event and control information?

I was one of the original developers of Honeywell's Pro-Watch, and I later headed controller firmware development at Mercury. While there is a degree of hardware interchangability, as Brian mentioned, it sounds like your proposed integration goes well beyond that.

For a project like this, one would have to have a good knowledge of both Lenel OAAP and Honeywell Pro-Watch's HSDK or similar. That's a narrow intersection of skills!

Thanks for the great responses from everybody and my apologies for the length of my response.

Having been a long term member of IPVM I was fully aware of the depth of knowledge of the IPVM community regarding access control and the wider security technology market which is why I posted the question although I get Eric's logic in wondering if the forum covered Access. I would not normally post anonymously but as this is specific to a client's security arrangements so I felt it was appropriate.

So getting back to my issue with integrating access control systems from different vendors and in an attempt to reply to some of the responses here is a bit of clarification.

The client is a large corporate multinational that operates facilities across the world. It has attempted to consolidate its access control systems across most of the security estate in the facilities it operates using Lenel. A majority of its facilities are now using Lenel giving a degree of standardisation across the company for access control.

However the company does inherit new facilities through acquisitions that use may not use Lenel. It also builds new facilities where the contract for the whole project is awarded to a main contractor and the provision for security systems is let for tender to local security contractor's as part of the total contract package. This produces a wide variety of solutions that often deviate from what is considered the company standard. There is no small resistance at a local level for the corporate security function to impose the company standard. To that end the company has implemented a PSIM solution ( I can hear John's exasperation from here) in an attempt to facilitate this deviation and incorporate orphan systems. This in itself is a whole other conversation I would like to have in the future.

Back to specifics:

In response to Brian's excellent point of hardware conversion through Mercury based controllers, this was an early consideration and may be possible (depending on model) but logistically it is difficult and might require a retrofit project which would need further funding and cause disruption. You are also correct in highlighting the fact that Lenel do not list any other ACS vendor in the OAAP document , and as John has highlighted all ACS vendors are reluctant assist with any integration that may see them lose the ability to lock out other vendors.

John, The integrator is a Honeywell VAR and is not a Lenel VAR which prevents him from offering Lenel as an alternative. In an attempt to avoid his design being binned he is clutching at straws and I have informed him as much.

He is talking about database interfaces, middleware, and data conduit options all of which scare the hell out of me and I have little confidence in his ability to make this integration work and I am sure there would be reliability and interoperability nightmares follow. For this reason I will be recommending that the system is Lenel and hope the client backs this decision.

Johnathon, It is interesting to hear from someone on the manufacturer side of the fence and you are correct both about the knowledge of both systems required and as I've already discussed above the VAR channel system often gets in the way of any possible integration. Access Control manufacturers are notorious (IMHO) for locking customers in and although some may now be making the right noises I have yet to see any of the majors implement anything meaningful.

All of this raises wider questions about system integration and interoperability of all electronic security systems. I have been an advocate for open architecture, open platform systems for many years based on IT standards and principals. Alas I feel our industry is no nearer to this than it was 5-10 years ago and as IPVM highlighted recently the acquisition of VMS and other software platform houses by big manufacturers is having an adverse effect in both choice and independence.

It is difficult as a Physical Security specialist to design systems knowing that you are potentially handcuffing a client to manufacturers and vendors with huge capital investment which they may regret soon after. BTW having used PSIM on a number of occasions it is not the answer.

A, great feedback!

"He is talking about database interfaces, middleware, and data conduit options all of which scare the hell out of me and I have little confidence in his ability to make this integration work and I am sure there would be reliability and interoperability nightmares follow."

Oh brother... It's an "IoT / API / REST / SOAP / SDK seamless converged integration" :)

"It is difficult as a Physical Security specialist to design systems knowing that you are potentially handcuffing a client to manufacturers and vendors with huge capital investment which they may regret soon after."

Alas, you pick your poison. There's no way out of it, there's always risk (e.g., Milestone was super safe and then Canon buys them and Axis in the span of a year, now who knows). You just need to make the most reasonable choice and set expectations appropriately.

I'll email you directly with some other suggestions.