Access Control Management Software Guide

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jan 06, 2015

In access control, the locks, readers and credentials may be what most see but its the management software where everything is controlled. In this guide, we cover the most common parts of this software and provide an overview of how the pieces relate to managing an access system.

Basic Purpose

The function of Access Control Management software is fourfold, with distinct functions and management focuses:

  1. Live View: Displaying the current state of the access system; if doors are locked/unlocked, and which users are interacting with doors.
  2. Door Management: Configuring every opening is critical, to ensure it opens and remains locked on schedule or depending on credential.
  3. Cardholder Management: Administering all potential users for their needed access privileges, and updating those records as needed.
  4. Reporting: This offers users to forensically review log details collected by the system - when and where credentials were used, and when openings were unlocked.

We examine each of these four areas inside.

** ****** *******, *** locks, ******* *** *********** may ** **** **** see *** *** *** management ******** ***** ********** is **********. ** **** guide, ** ***** *** most ****** ***** ** this ******** *** ******* an ******** ** *** the ****** ****** ** managing ** ****** ******.

Basic *******

*** ******** ** ****** Control ********** ******** ** fourfold, **** ******** ********* and ********** *******:

  1. **** ****: ********** *** ******* state ** *** ****** system; ** ***** *** locked/unlocked, *** ***** ***** are *********** **** *****.
  2. **** **********: *********** ***** ******* is ********, ** ****** it ***** *** ******* locked ** ******** ** depending ************.
  3. ********** **********: ************* *** ********* users *** ***** ****** access **********, *** ******** those ******* ** ******.
  4. *********: **** ****** ***** to ************ ****** *** details ********* ** *** system - **** *** where *********** **** ****, and **** ******** **** unlocked.

** ******* **** ** these **** ***** ******.

[***************]

Essential ********

***** **** ********** ******** varies ***** ** ********** and ***********, ** ******** the **** ***** ********. These *******:

  • ********** *********
  • *********** ***** & ***********
  • ****** **** ******** *** Application
  • ****/********** ********** 
  • ****** ******** *************
  • ****** *******

** **** *****, ***** elements *** ********* ** a ****** ** ********* separate **** **** ***********. System ******** *** ******* numbers ** ******* *** doors *** ** ****** on * ********* *****, but ********** ******* *** require ******* ******* ** host *** ******** *** integrations ** ***** ******* of *****.

Monitoring *********

 **** **** ****** ********* to **** ** ** the ******* ***** ** doors ** **** ****.  Exact ********* ******** *** layout ****, *** **** include:

  • **** ******: ***** **** ******* requests ******* ******* * door, * **** ********, or * **** ** opened *** ***** ** logged.
  • ***** ******: ** ******* ***** a **** **** *** long, ****** * **** open, ** *************** ******* **********, *** interface ***** ** ***** or ***** ******** ********* to *** *****.
  • ****/****** ********: ** ******** *** the ****** ** ******** unlock ** **** * door ********, ***** ** all ***** ** * single '********' *********.

**** ********** ***** *** this *********** ** ********* displayed *** *********, ******* in * ******** ** event ********:

*** ***** ***** ***** an ******** ** **** element:


***** *********** ******* ******** live ***** ***** **** to ***** ****** ** operators *** ******** ****** the ****** ******** ** valid:

Configuring ***** *** ***********

*** ********** ******** ******** the ******* ** *** new *********** *** ** tweak************* ** ***** ******* to *** **** *******. Because **** ******* ** used ***********, **** ***** consisting ** *** **** hardware *** **** ** be ******** ******* *** efficient ***. *** ****** below ***** *** '*******' features ** ****** **** doing ***** *******:


Access ***** *** *********

*** *** ********* ** electronic ****** ******* ****** mechanical ***** *** **** keys ** *** ******* to ******** **** *** when *********** *** ** used. **** ********* ******* these ***** ******* *****, while ****** ********* **** with ******** ***********. ********* and ****** *** ******** configurable down ** ***** *******:

 

***** ********* ******* ****** option, ******** * ***** of ******** ***** ** cardholders ******** ******** **********. The ****** ***** **** off *** ****** ** these ********:

****** *****


****** *********


 User **********

****** ********** ******* ****** just *********** *****. ***** user, *** *** *********** they *******, *** ******** pieces ** *** ******. The ****** **** ********** functions ******* ******** *******:

  • ****** ** ******** *****
  • *********** *********** **** *****
  • ******** ******

*** ****** ***** ******** an ******** ** ***** features:

****** ***********


****** ***********


System *******

* *** ******* ** management, ******** ******** **** is *** ********** ** searching *** ******** *****.  The **** ***** ** a ***** ******** ** what ** ****** *** how ** ** ********* in ** ****** ********** software:


 

Comments (20)

Great post Mr. Rhodes. Very informative videos. Is this using HID AC software and VertX hardware?

Very well done.

Loved it!

Conceptually, could there be an IPVM tool similar to the camera calculator but for Access Control Systems? ACS finder? ACS Hardware Finder etc..

Food for thought.

[NOTE: This has been moved to its own discussion: IPVM Access Control Finder?]

designers need to spend a significant amount of time in the planning phase before setting up schedules...other wise you can end up with a massive disorganized set of schedules with duplication.

  1. So Far I have only been exposed to one manufacturer’s hardware and software, and even at that one specific model. My only Security customer dictates the hardware and manufacturer. As a technician who came from the computer/server end before entering the security end, I wondered why the software didn’t do more. These videos and your explanation have given me some insight to what other manufacturers offer.

Thank you Brian. We use Security Desk for VMS now and it was good t see these demonstrated in a familiar setting.

Thanks Brian, that was a really well done and highly informative presentation. I recently upgraded our Controller Management Software and one of the features I found on there that I think could be highly beneficial is a Threat Level tab which allows me to assign or limit access to specific users based on potential changes in activity at my site. Potentially very helpful in the case of say an Active Shooter situation where a lockdown is needed to be implemented, this can be performed almost instantaneously from the control center computer. I am not overly familiar with a variety of software platforms so is this a standard feature on most?

I am not sure about most, but the access systems I am most familiar with do provide features for quick lockdowns. These can be triggered through software, through an input, or by using a specially programmed card. They provide for multiple levels of lockdown, so, depending on the situation, you can choose between locking some doors, locking all doors, disabling access levels, etc.

Very interesting, it is amazing the control the end user has. I wonder what happens when there is a power failure that last for a long time and there is no back up generator. Do all doors unlock?

It would depend on whether the door hardware is a Fail-Safe or Fail-Secure set.  The course will cover the differences between the two in a later class.

In most cases that depends on how the system is designed/programed. They can either fail safe where they unlock or fail secure where the doors remain locked and can be overridden with a manual key. I work for a US government agency that has police holding cells in some of our buildings so we have built in fail secure on any areas that houses prisoners but some of the other doors that are geared more towards dealing with the general public are fail safe so they can easily egress in case of emergency or power outages.

More often, the best choice is usually fail secure hardware that allows free egress at all times. This way, people inside can always get out, but the space remains secure from outside in case of emergency/power failure.

This reading did a great job of pointing out the differences in access functions.

Is some snapshot links broken above, as I can't only see long gaps between

Access Rules and Access Schedules etc. ?

Thanks, the embedded videos have been fixed.

Great presentation. Just as you said, terminology is different from one access control system to another, but, the basic ideas are the same.

Thank you for posting these Brian. It was very informative. 

Brian, thanks for supplementing with videos integrated into the readings. Interesting and good context.

Very nice.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
Access Control Course Fall 2019 - Last Chance on Oct 17, 2019
Register Now - Fall 2019 Access Control Course. Thursday, October 17th is the last day to register. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access...
2020 Access Control Book Released on Dec 19, 2019
This is the best, most comprehensive access control book in the world, based on our unprecedented research and testing has been significantly...
Designing Access Control Guide on Jan 30, 2019
Designing an access control solution requires decisions on 8 fundamental questions. This in-depth guide helps you understand the options and...
ZK Teco Atlas Access Control Tested on Aug 20, 2019
Who needs access specialists? China-based ZKTeco claims its newest access panel 'makes it very easy for anyone to learn and install access control...
Open Access Controller Guide (Axis, HID, Isonas, Mercury) on Sep 19, 2019
In the access control market, there are many software platforms, but only a few companies that make non-proprietary door controllers. Recently,...
Access Control Time & Attendance Guide on Sep 24, 2019
Access control systems can do more than lock doors. With little or no extra equipment, they can be used to track labor hours for employees...
Access Control Mustering Guide on Sep 30, 2019
In emergencies, determining where employees are located can be critical for knowing whether they are in danger. Access systems can be used for...
Access Control Door Controllers Guide on Oct 22, 2019
Door controllers are at the center of physical access control systems connecting software, readers, and locks. Despite being buried inside...
Securing Access Control Installations Tutorial on Oct 17, 2019
The physical security of access control components is critical to ensuring that a facility is truly secure. Otherwise, the entire system can be...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Intersec 2020 Final Show Report on Jan 21, 2020
IPVM spent all 3 days at the Intersec 2020 show interviewing various companies and finding key trends. We cover: Middle East Enterprise...
Vehicle & Long Range Access Reader Tutorial on Jan 21, 2020
One of the classic challenges for access control are parking lots and garages, where the user's credential is far from the reader. With modern...
Clearview AI Alarm - NY Times Report Says "Might End Privacy" on Jan 20, 2020
Over the weekend, the NY Times released a report titled "The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It" about a company named...
Favorite Camera Manufacturers 2020 on Jan 20, 2020
The past 2 years of US bans and sanctions have shaken the video surveillance industry but what impact would this have on integrators' favorite...
"Severely Impacted" Mercury Security 2020 Leap Year Firmware Issue on Jan 17, 2020
One of the largest access controller manufacturers has a big problem: February 29th. Mercury Security, owned by HID, is alerting partners of the...
Apple Acquires XNOR.ai, Loss For The Industry on Jan 16, 2020
Apple has acquired XNOR.ai for $200 million, reports GeekWire. This is a loss for the video surveillance industry. XNOR.ai stunned the industry...
Installation Course January 2020 - Last Chance on Jan 16, 2020
Thursday, January 16th is your last chance to register for the Winter 2020 Video Surveillance Installation Course. This is a unique installation...
Halo Smart Vape Detector Tested on Jan 16, 2020
The Halo Smart Sensor claims to detect vaping, including popular brand Juul and even THC vapes. But how well does it work in real world...
PRC Government Entity Now Controlling Shareholder of Infinova / March Networks on Jan 16, 2020
A PRC government entity is now the controlling shareholder of US security manufacturer Infinova as well as its wholly-owned subsidiary March...
Network Cabling for Video Surveillance on Jan 15, 2020
In this guide, we explain the fundamentals of network cabling for video surveillance networks, how they should be installed, and the differences in...