Axis Video / Access Integration Reviewed

By Brian Rhodes, Published Mar 11, 2014, 12:00am EDT

While Axis added its own access control software and hardware, at first, it had no integration with its video products. Now, Axis has added integration with its Axis Camera Companion.  

A weakness in Axis Entry Manager is that it offers no video support. However, Axis recently offered a potential solution from inside Camera Companion using a method that can be applied to other VMS platforms as well. In this note, we review.

Configuration

According to the whitepaper [link no longer available], using a series of action rules and using 'virtual I/O' as the integration method, the A1001 controller is configured to send a camera running ACC an alarm that starts recording when opened, stops recording when closed, and flags the event as a 'access event' in the playback timeline.

This allows an ACC system to directly be tied to Entry Management so that every time the door is opened, a recording is forced when the door position contracts are open and does not rely on camera motion detection prone to inaccuracy.

Result

The integration looks like this from inside ACC playback, where each door event is identified with a purple segment color:

Pros

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The biggest strength of this solution is that it is free. For small sites already running the no cost ACC and Entry Manager, being able to tie both systems together with a few mouse clicks and no extra wiring is a big benefit.

Clear ID: Another benefit is that Door Events are clearly marked in the timeline as separate from other recordings. This can assist searching for specific activity more easy if the rough time/day is known.

Not Axis Only: The method defined above is easy with Axis ACC, but is not limited to that platform. Indeed, any VMS that can flag recordings based on external alerts (including most commercial grade platforms) can be integrated with the A1001 in a similar way.

Cons

No Data Interface: However, unlike full-measure integrations that include reader information or photo ID overlays, the method above is 'dumb'. Only the recording flag reflecting a door contact is broken is passed through to the video system, so at best only an impartial view of the door event can be reviewed. Furthermore, events like 'Invalid IDs being used' or 'Tailgating/Passback' events are not guaranteed to be recorded.

ACC or VMS Required: Axis Entry Manager does not natively support video. This means that any integration must take place inside of an external VMS or Camera Companion. There is no ability to directly connect cameras to the A1001 controller, and this outside video application can range upwards of thousands if ACC is not used.

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