Educational access

April 2010 Access Control & Identity Management

Impro software makes the access control grade at Stellenbosch University.

Stellenbosch University is recognised as one of the four top research universities in South Africa. It takes pride in the fact that it has one of the country’s highest percentages of post-graduate students where almost 10% of them are international students.

Stellenbosch University lies tucked away in the picturesque Jonkershoek Valley in the heart of the Western Cape Winelands. Since its humble beginnings in 1866 when it first opened its doors with about 500 students and 39 lecturers, the University has grown into the internationally recognised institution of excellence it is today with more than 22 500 students, 800 lecturers and some 50 research and service bodies.

The challenge Impro faced at the University was how to seamlessly introduce the IXP400i system without revising the student enrolment process. Currently, there are multiple student enrolment stations in various departments and rewriting the enrolment process was not an option. Impro Technologies therefore introduced Hendrik Le Roux (the university’s Project Co-coordinator) to data integration specialists, innoVIZION. The objectives were straightforward – design an interface that would automatically update the access control database when a student was entered into the university student database and at the same time allow for the automatic assignment of the relevant access control rights to the student. To complicate matters, the university has a laundry facility and residence management which also pushes data into the various systems.

The integration software was needed to take all of these systems into account. Its implementation was to have zero impact on the admin staff. They were not even to be aware of the new system installed. Even with a straightforward objective, the task itself was quite complex and required significant investigation and design. innoVIZION developed the solution and the basic functionality of the integration.

The solution

The ImproNet configuration software is used for system configuration only, and all student details are captured using the university’s standard front end software. The student is issued a proximity Mifare tag and a lookup is done on the access control system to see which access rules have been defined. The card is then assigned an access group based on the rules set up in the innoVIZION software and the student is given the card. Once the details are in the access control database, the access control engine uploads the data to the ECII system controllers and the card is functional.

Currently the site has 31 ECII controllers installed across the entire Stellenbosch Campus, as well as at the Tygerberg Campus comprising a total of 190 access controlled doors.

Le Roux and the rest of his team have all attended Impro accredited training courses which were presented at Powelltronics’ head office in Mowbray, Cape Town.

Future enhancements

The IXP400i system at the university, along with the innoVIZION software has left the door wide open for future enhancements to the entire security system. The IXP400i system supports full biometric integration with the Sagem biometric devices. It also supports integration with Ziton fire detection solutions, Caddx intrusion monitoring solutions, as well as certain CCTV solutions. innoVIZION’s platform will allow for higher levels of access validation should the requirement arise.


Number of sites: 5

Number of tagholders: 30 000

Number of doors: 190

Key elements

* ImproX IXP400i Hardware.

* ImproNet Software Suite.

* innoVIZION software integration.

For more information contact innoVIZION Business Solutions, +27 (0)11 463 0123,,

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