Access control - choosing the correct system

June 2002 Access Control & Identity Management

An access control system is there to protect lives and property so time taken at this stage is worth it to make sure you are making the right choice.

Whether you are an end-user or an installation company making recommendations to a client, it is worthwhile asking the following questions about the proposed system - before you commit yourself.

First of all, is the system manufactured according to some form of standard such as SABS, CE, UL, etc? Products manufactured to a recognised standard offer a certain guarantee of quality, which would normally not be found in products not manufactured according to any standards.

Next, does the system operate on a distributed database? A true distributed database system offers:

* Parallel processing of events at reader/controller level.

* Increased speed of operation.

* Full off-line operation in the event of computer failure.

* Date and time stamping of all transactions for more than 24 hours without transaction duplication.

If you are an end-user ask your installer for an organogram of his company as well as the supply chain of product from manufacturer. This will indicate capacity and capability of the company and the manufacturer or distributor to provide technical support and back-up. If you are an installer, be prepared to provide this sort of information to clients.

Does the system use an open system architecture in terms of software database such as SQL Server, or MS Access and an industry standard 26 bit Wiegand card reader interface? Systems adhering to this requirement will provide the most flexibility for current and future expansion and connectivity.

Make sure you are aware of any hidden costs such as:

* Annual software licence fees.

* Software upgrade fees.

* Firmware upgrade fees.

* Mandatory maintenance agreements.


You need to ask the right questions regarding whether or not the system is modularly upgradeable - for example:

* How easily can the number of card readers be expanded? Can you upgrade to the next version of software without any hardware changes and can you add on software modules such as photo-ID, alarm monitoring, CCTV, time and attendance, multiple dial-up sites, and TCP/IP connectivity if you need to at a later stage?

* Does the manufacturer offer backwards compatibility in terms of both software and hardware? This will ensure that the system is not made redundant through new releases of software and hardware.

* What form of surge protection is offered against mains power borne transient spikes and lightning strikes?

* Does the manufacturer offer a website where new software releases and firmware upgrades are downloadable, thereby making it an easy process to upgrade the system on-line?

Finally, if you are an end-user ask for a list of reference sites, and phone them.

For further details contact Nigel Versfeld, TeqTrader on tel: 011 403 3002.

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

How to specify the right turnstile finish
September 2019, Turnstar Systems , Access Control & Identity Management
Purchasing a turnstile gives you a large amount of flexibility when it comes to choosing the right finish.

Enhanced biometric technology for mines
September 2019, ZKTeco , Mining (Industry), Access Control & Identity Management
Biometric identification and authentication are currently used at various mines in South Africa and in the SADC region.

Improving access in mines
October 2019, Astra Fasteners , Mining (Industry), Access Control & Identity Management, Products
The VP1 controller provides full access control and remote monitoring of intelligent locks without having to wire into a network or install, manage and maintain software.

Invixium and Pyro-Tech partner in South Africa
October 2019 , News, Access Control & Identity Management
Invixium, a manufacturer of IP-based biometric solutions and Pyro-Tech Security Suppliers have announced a new distribution partnership.

Suprema receives FBI PIV/FAP30 certification
October 2019, Suprema , News, Access Control & Identity Management
Suprema has announced that the company's BioMini Slim 3 has received FBI PIV (Personal Identity Verification) and Mobile ID FAP30 certification.

Frictionless access with a wave
October 2019, IDEMIA , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
IDEMIA was the Platinum Sponsor for the Residential Estate Security Conference 2019 and set up its MorphoWave Compact frictionless fingerprint biometric scanner at the entrance to the conference.

Streamlined access and reporting
October 2019, Comb Communications , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
The main focus of the Comb stand was its practical demonstration of the MK II Lite intercom system with third-party integrated products.

Customised and integrated solutions
October 2019, Suprema , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
iVisit offers both high-end and low-end residential complexes a cost-effective visitor management solution that is fully integrated into Suprema's offerings.

Access solutions for every estate
October 2019, Impro Technologies , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
Impro's flagship Access Portal solution comprises one of the most user-friendly software solutions on the market.

Managing staff effectively
September 2019, dormakaba South Africa, iPulse Systems , Integrated Solutions, Access Control & Identity Management
Workforce management solutions allow organisations to track the relationship between productivity and the cost of employment, incorporating issues such as health and safety, T&A, rostering and more.