Access Interoperability: Going Nowhere

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Nov 11, 2014

The dream was simple: access control interoperability. You know; the ability to change management software on a whim, or mix together different brands of controllers, yet have everything work together. It is an idea could fundamentally change the access control market.

Especially when ONVIF's Access Profile C was announced, many hoped it marked the start of this dream. Perhaps it would even kickstart the stoic and insular access market in the same way ONVIF has caught fire in surveillance.

Alas, this dream may be over before it really even starts. In this note, we survey the dreadful status of access interoperability and discuss why this is not likely going to change.

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Comments (5)

Even non-standard "openness" is hard to come by in access control: the number of panels that even have an API available to multiple software vendors... you can count them on one hand. So the obstacles start even before you start considering standardization.

What about Genetec's Synergis part of Genetec Unified Platform Security Center that supports multiple brands (HID, Mercury, Axis)?

Thank you undisclosed Genetec employee....

We are talking about the development of open standards, not specific manufacturers doing direct integrations with third parties.

Agreed but direct integration is kind of an indirect;-) approach to start cracking the Access Control industry closed model to open up.

Getting the door to open and sticking a wedge to keep it open will open the gates to a standard. This is how it it happened in the video market. It worked once it can work again and faster as there is evidence that open standard did work for an industry.

I think that this would be a great idea for IPVM to push at the End User level. I would start by sending a survey to your user base to really see what they think of it.

May 2015 Update: Six months after publishing this update, the number of ONVIF C conformant products has grown to two:

The Axis A1001 is still the only hardware controller making the claim, but recently PSIM VidSys (Note: not an access platform) is the first software entrant.

Summary: Access interoperability efforts are still very weak.

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