ONVIF overview of latest profiles

ONVIF overview of latest profiles

It’s a busy time for ONVIF, the IP-based standards organisation that creates open standards for the physical security market, with two profiles scheduled for final release in 2016 and yet another currently in development. ONVIF steering committee chair, Per Björkdahl, updates Security Middle East magazine.

Profile Q

Profile Q new profile answers the call for easy installation and out-of-the-box functionality using the ONVIF specification, offering an easy set-up mechanism and basic device level configuration.

Recent surveys of ONVIF users and integrators have shown that easy configuration is the number one requested feature for future profiles. Profile Q, which is released at the end July, has been created in direct response to this feedback.

Profile Q ensures that every manufacturer that is Profile Q conformant will create products that automatically have ONVIF enabled. This means that an integrator or end user doesn’t have to find a switch to activate ONVIF. Previously, users purchased ONVIF-conformant devices and then, to enable and configure a device, had to find instructions issued by the manufacturer or printed on a label on the device.

Profile Q-conformant devices are easily discoverable and allow the installer to set common settings such as IP address, time, authentication and security settings. The days of manufacturer-specific adaptation of scripted software installation and device configuration on newly purchased devices are over.

It does not matter what type of device the client is communicating to, as the ONVIF commands are common to all device types. When replacing a camera in an already existing system, a Profile Q device can be configured quickly by using the data from a backup.

The new profile also features a factory reset functionality that will bring a conformant device back to its original out-of-the-box state, thereby always retaining interoperability with other ONVIF IP security devices. Events can also be managed through Profile Q conformant devices. These device events can include fan, power supply or storage failure, as well as critical temperature and last backup.

Profile Q works across brands and profiles with quick configuration and installation, providing discoverability and strong device monitoring and management event capabilities. ONVIF’s newest profile gives end users and systems integrators the tools that they need to connect systems and devices as seamlessly as possible, in order to create a truly interoperable security system.

Profile A

Profile A is ONVIF’s access control profile that covers day-to-day tasks, addresses physical access control features and configurations. It was developed to expand the feature set and configurations related to credentials, access rules and schedules and to address broader use case scenarios and a larger segment of end users.

Designed to cover the most common day-to-day activities of an access control system and its access points, Profile A benefits users, such as security guards, receptionists, human resources departments and security officers by expanding access to the system. Profile A conformant clients and devices allow the configuration of devices via a client such as an event/access management platform, which in part makes this broader access to the system possible. Configuration via the client saves time and simplifies installation for integrators. Profile A also makes video/access control integration with Profile S devices and clients much easier.

Like Profile Q, Profile A was created in response to feedback from ONVIF members and the physical security industry at large, asking for a more advanced access control profile. It expands the feature set of ONVIF’s first access control profile, Profile C, which established basic communication between conformant devices and clients.

There are key differences between Profile C and Profile A, however. Profile C device configuration needs to be performed on the conformant device itself. Profile A includes the day-to-day operations of configuration of credentials, access rules and schedules and all allows end users to configure a Profile A conformant devices from the device itself, or using the client, which is a change from Profile C.

With Profile A, human resources and other departments can add employees to the access control system, grant and revoke access, reset anti pass-back, and report stolen or lost cards. Departments can also provide temporary access, for example when an employee is temporarily working from a remote satellite office. Profile A features an employee leave feature for when an employee is on a long break, such as a leave of absence. His/her credentials can be temporarily disabled.

Final release of the profiles

ONVIF circulates a new profile first as a ‘Release Candidate’ for six to twelve months, allowing members and stakeholders a final implementation review. When that process is complete, the final profile is published and technology providers are able to test their products for conformance to the final version of the profile. This process is intended to allow members to more quickly introduce conformant products after the final version of a profile is released.

Profile A’s final version release is scheduled for December of this year, while the release candidate phase for Profile Q has ended and the final version of Profile Q is released at the end of July 2016.

Both profiles focus on providing security operators and systems integrators greater ease in integrating different brands of ONVIF conformant clients and devices together, with the hope of inspiring the convenient, everyday use of ONVIF-conformant products.

For more information visit: www.onvif.org