I reached out to Salient and while they said it has been resolved, the fix is not in current production versions:
It is not yet in the official production version of the software. ONVIF support will be present in our 5.1 release which is slated to be available by mid-December. We are showing that version at the GSX show this week.
Is there a software developer of some kind from any manufacturer on here that can comment on how difficult ONVIF is to implement? I'm not real clear on why this is not in there. Perhaps it is tremendously time consuming to implement? I do think our industry has gotten lazy with the over-reliance on ONVIF but not having it at all is odd.
Adding ONVIF support to a VMS is not 'tremendously time consuming', but may give some pain with testing. See, the ONVIF itself is a very straighforward thing from the programming perspective; literary, if you have one particular ONVIF command implemented - consider you have them all. It is nicely documented, there are tools for testing and request debugging, and there are even some code-autogeneration tools for speeding the routine process of adding of consimilar commands.
The problem is, however, you can not be 100% guaranteed that your code will be running ex expected on all types of camera. Even now, 2019, there are vendors (especially from China) that believe ONVIF standard is "opened to interpretation", that's a quote. Thus, there are cameras that 100% correctly support ONVIF-S, and there are some cameras that claim they do, but they do it with a twist. So before deploying a VMS with ONVIF feature, it must be vigorously tested against a whole zoo of cameras. This may take more time than everything else combined.
So I don't wanna get any deeper into the programming side of supporting multiple ONVIF profiles in a VMS. Bottom line is, adding ONVIF-S support is not any harder than, say, adding three types of RTSP connections they have. If not simpler.
As for the 'over-reliance'.
I used to hate ONVIF 4 years ago as a developer. Not because it was badly designed or difficult to implement, but due to the fact that 4 years ago every third camera, be it a cheap Raysharp or an overpriced Axis, used to have problems with ONVIF. There were so many compatibility issues it wasn't funny.
The industry, as it usually does, gladly picked up the hype of a protocol that will eliminate a necessity of 'custom camera drivers' and 'deep integration'. And I can understand that, I mean, who doesn't want to deal with one standard library instead of tens of custom-made ones? No one. So the VMS developers have rushed to implement ONVIF support hoping this will save their time and money. This hadn't happened. At least not in a scale it was expected. And the reason is not anywhere in developers, it is in camera vendors that are too slow or/and too lazy to do things properly from the first take. In my personal experience, when something ONVIF doesn't work in any VMS of your choice, it is 90% the camera firmware to blame, and 10% an imperfection of a VMS code.
But things are getting much better. In the last year and a half I have seen many beautiful cameras that do support ONVIF-S in full. Its actually give a nice satisfactory feeling when you see your VMS works with one previously untested new camera out of the box, and there are no problems whatsoever.
ONVIF is a powerful thing, no doubt. Its gets better support every year, and it is most likely that one day the era of 'deep integration' will be pretty much over.
I cannot and will not even attempt to defend the use of Silverlight. That is egregious and completely unacceptable.
That said, the comments about ONVIF compatibility are actually so absurd as to be almost laughable as far as I'm concerned. ONVIF effectively means nothing other than "this camera will work at a bare-bones level." Basically every major VMS, whether they call it this or not, effectively uses "direct driver support" in that they ensure that additional features beyond the base-level ONVIF requirements are available within their platforms. The major VMS platforms that offer "ONVIF" support without any additional "direct driver features" (i.e. Avigilon) have a generally garbage experience when using "ONVIF"-compatible cameras.
Salient has a solid list of compatible cameras that is updated frequently. Historically, Axis cameras have been certified before they hit the market, and I'm sure that remains along with others being in a similar situation.
There are many legit criticisms of Salient based upon this release. ONVIF compatibility shouldn't even be on the list for a serious security professional, because if that's all you're basing decisions on, you're doing it very, very wrong.
What's absurd is thinking you can argue for excluding ONVIF in a modern VMS.
While I have not tested the variety of cameras and VMSes that IPVM has, my experience with ONVIF/driverless camera discovery and management in Avigilon ACC, Hanwha Wave, Milestone, IndigoVision, ipConfigure, and a few others has been pretty good lately. Support for motion events, managing basic configuration settings, and similar things seem to work more than well enough for most use cases.
Like it or not, ONVIF is the future, and it has been around for a decade now. It is certainly not a perfect solution, but current implementations have come a very long way. Salient has had plenty of time to add ONVIF support, and when developers are releasing open-source ONVIF software on github there is little room for Salient to claim it is difficult, unnecessary, not required, not desired, etc.
The obvious exclusion of a widely agreed upon protocol that is a decade old makes me wonder what other corners Salient may have cut in development, or what other expected features might be missing. There are simply too many VMS choices for me to spend much time investigating a product that has willfully excluded such a common component.
Salient says their new CompleteView 20/20 "unified platform" was "designed from the ground up to minimize the complexity of deploying, managing, and growing best-in-class video surveillance operations."
You know what happens when you rewrite software from the ground up?
Architecturally things improve, but you get bugs, lots of them. But that’s normal, and you deal with it.
You know what doesn’t happen when you rewrite software from the ground up?
Ending up with an AVI only export and Silverlight dependencies (in 2019).
That some really old code...or some really old coder.
Silverlight is a non-starter...seems everyone that hasn't already gotten away from it is trying to.
No ONVIF support...major issue, especially when the new Profile T looks to offer so much more than we've ever had with a PnP driver.
AVI Export...is this even acceptable for use in court being a format that is easily modifiable?
Biggest Benefactor here is AMAG, as this is tons better than their old Symmetry product, but still, it seems these "cons" are fairly large. I would expect this to be fixed soon, but honestly, I'm shocked that they'd release a product at all with these issues.
Silverlight is a non-starter...seems everyone that hasn't already gotten away from it is trying to.
I had forgotten about Silverlight so I spent a few minutes googling it. Evidently, according to numerous sites, Silverlight has been deprecated for years, so I am struggling to understand how it is in Salient's new VMS?
Support for ActiveX has been discontinued in Microsoft Edge, and that includes removing support for Silverlight. The reasons for this have been discussed in previous blogs and include the emergence of viable and secure media solutions based on HTML5 extensions. Microsoft continues to support Silverlight, and Silverlight out-of-browser apps can continue to use it. Silverlight will also continue to be supported in Internet Explorer 11, so sites continue to have Silverlight options in Windows 10. At the same time, we encourage companies that are using Silverlight for media to begin the transition to DASH/MSE/CENC/EME based designs and to follow a single, DRM-interoperable encoding work flow enabled by CENC.
Silverlight was easy to forget, Microsoft's poor knock-off of flash.
Lensec was also using Silverlight, except I think it was their main client interface.
Microsoft has a history of trying to do things that make it (too) easy for developers to do certain things, and it's dependent on stuff that locks you in to Windows. When I met with Lensec around 2014/2015 timeframe, I very much discounted their platform because of Silverlight, using the Microsoft crutches is a sign of weak development (IMO) and likely to lead to lock-in, and things being stuck in a silo.
The use of Silverlight, and lack of ONVIF, really make me think that Salient makes poor technical decisions.
UPDATE: Salient has reported a number of major improvements since the test 2 years ago, removed Silverlight, added ONVIF and UX improvements:
UI/UX: We’ve made a lot improvements since 2019 – largely driven by feedback from the field and from observations in the 2019 review. There is still more for us to do. We recently engaged an expert user interaction researcher and design firm with the clear and firm intention to dramatically improve the usability of our interface.
ONVIF: We are currently ONVIF Profile S conformant; we achieved this a little over a year ago as a part of our “Q3 2020” release where we announced version 5.1. As with any conformant device or client, we properly show up in the search for conformant clients on ONVIF’s website. We are continuing to invest in ONVIF and are currently working on Profile T.
Web Client: We deprecated the Silverlight web client and have a modern HTML5 web client. For convenience, it is something we host publicly (see: CompleteView Web Client). The HTML5 web client has been and will continue to be a very key area of investment for us.
This week, we will do a post about new management / direction at Salient and next year we will do a full new test as Salient tells us there are some more upcoming improvements in the near term.