To meet the new demands for security and access control management, there was a need for a higher level solution that provided all the functionality of a conventional building automation system, while at the same time the ability to be accessed and managed remotely from any place in the world.
Our team team implemented an efficient, flexible and economically sound solution of integrated security accessible and manageable online in any browser including mobile platforms. The system is easy to install, simple to configure and effortless to maintain. Our access control system provides direct digital control of movement, scheduling, reporting, and interacting with other building systems. However, unlike conventional systems, the user interface is not limited to a few dedicated workstations running proprietary software. Our Access Control System can be administered and monitored remotely using a web interface.
System in a Nutshell
First of all, we built a custom Controller – the main component of the Access Control System (ACS). Structurally, a controller is a circuit board that receives data from a reader. According to the rules configured for a token and door, the controller can do authentication by itself or request authentication from the main server. If the token has access rights, the controller opens the lock. Controllers can be networked together (up to 254 devices in one chain) and are connected to the host computer through the interface converter. Up to four readers with Dallas Touch Memory interface and two readers with UART interface can be connected to one controller. Controller and hub communicate either through RS485 and HDLC protocol or through Zigbee/Wifi/Ethernet modules developed by our team.
By default, our access control system is capable of working in operation modes:
- Centralized (real-time) authorization mode: the controller is not directly responsible for granting access to a door. Instead, it sends a request to the Ethernet hub which then opens the door. In this case, a scripting language for performing specific algorithms of entrance/bypass is used. The speed of exchange with every controller is important and suggests limiting devices on the bus maximum to 75 devices or less in more complex configurations.
- Local authorization mode: the controller stores a list of all authorized keys with specified access time frames and is responsible for enabling/denying access. In this case, the hub only receives information about events and records them in the event table. Up to 200 controllers can be connected to one RS485 bus.
This dual mode ensures uninterrupted operation of the System – if the hub is unavailable due to a power outage, the controller can perform a number of its functions. In both cases, the controller keeps records of door openings for further reports and system operation analysis.
Web-based Access Control Software
We developed open-source web-based access control software that runs on Linux and has a user-friendly interface. The software is used for remote system management in the central authorization mode. Although controllers are administered through a Linux-based system process, we made the web interface accessible in all other operating systems and platforms including mobiles.
Access control software performs all required functions:
- Controller configuration
- Programming of the tokens and access schedules for different time zones
- Extracting events from the controller and storing them in the database with the possibility of their further review and report generation
- Monitoring events in real time using a graphic building plan
The system can be extended by adding new controllers and installing network software.
Our web-based system generates conventional web pages allowing users to log in and perform any required function from any computer on the network. Our access control system provides a high degree of security to prevent unauthorized access, but authorized users significantly benefit from productivity improvements gained due to increased access control features.
Our Access Control System provides the following Features and Benefits:
- Centralized Management ensures privacy and security of the restricted areas allowing access to authorized personnel only
- Access Through the Web enables remote management of the system through any web browser, including mobile devices
- Anti Pass Back excludes the possibility to give authentication cards to unauthorized persons
- Uninterrupted Operation provided due to centralized and local authorization modes
- Staff Control and Recordkeeping help employers organize a stable workflow bringing more security and productivity to business
- Easy Integration with other Security Management Systems provides additional functions such as displaying a graphical building plan, visual surveillance, etc.
- Flexibility of Hardware and Software allows customizing the system to meet the needs of a specific company