Milestone Access Control 2014 ReleasedBy: Brian Rhodes, Published on May 28, 2014
Milestone has announced an update to its first venture into integrated access interface. When we tested the platform previously, it had some marked shortcomings. Were these addressed is the new update?
We examine what improvements have been made in this note and how it impacts their competitive positioning.
Overall, with this release, Milestone's access control module is still likely be best suited for operators less interested in full-fledged access management but looking for an inexpensive integrated interface between video and access control. Features like cardholder management, badge printing, and door hardware configuration still take place outside Milestone's interface and in the underlying access platform.
When compared against the four essential features of access management platforms, XProtect Access Control 2014 provides:
- Live View: Current status, activity, and alarms can be seen from the main video viewing interface.
- Reporting: Of the four features, this portion has the single largest practical improvement and supports data filtering and report generation not possible in the previous release.
- Door Management: This aspect of management is still essentially omitted from Milestone's application.
- Cardholder Management: As is this one, where the critical aspects of permissions and access levels are made, is still not included but relies on the underlying access platform.
Of these four, XProtect 2014 satisfies two of the four requirements of a full-fledged management system.
The most notable changes in this 2014 release are:
- Integrated Reports: PDFs reports, based on events from inside the Access Control tab are available. Before, all reporting features were confined to external logs and controls in the integrated platform.
- Imbedded Thumbnails: Reports now include a video thumbnail from related cameras when the event occurred.
- Live Events: The current state of the door can be viewed from within the Access Control tab. Previously no live log was available in this tab.
- All Versions Supported: Before only Enterprise and Corporate versions supported access control features, now all versions including XProtect Express and Husky NVRs support the module.
- Documented SDK: With the 2014 release, Milestone has added access control module documentation to the MIP SDK for independent integration.
XProtect Access 2014
An overview of the access module's second release can be viewed in the promo video below:
New Platform Support
While the number of platforms has grown, the platform still lacks integration with leading access platforms such as Lenel, SoftwareHouse, or even S2 that have developed competing VMS platforms.
With this update, the supported access platforms have expanded beyond only Axis Entry Manager and the A1001 Controller (links to our review). The added platforms include:
- IMRON: The company's IS2000 platform [link no longer available] includes integrations with HID Edge, some Mercury, and Axis controllers.
- Bosch: The large conglomerate has announced it's Access Professional Edition integrates with Xprotect Access 2014.
- ISONAS: This integration includes the company's IP controllers and software platform.
- OpenOptions: The first full Mercury Security hardware based platform (DNA Fusion) has been added
- Bolid Security: Orion Pro [link no longer available] integration has been done by a third party
We have not tested the extent of integration with these platforms, so we cannot vouch that they are all equally interoperable or functional.
The update results in no changes to module pricing, which is listed as ~$257 for the base that includes two doors, and then is expanded in two door bundle licenses for ~$158.
Compared to examples from Lenel, S2, and Genetec, Xprotect Access 2014 lacks the basics of cardholder and door management. Those other options include core access management platforms that stand alone separately from video management if needed. Milestone's offering is essentially a video interface overlay that provides a number of useful 'live view' controls but still requires a companion access platform for operational use.