HomeTECHNOLOGYWhat's Behind Keyboards And Access Readers?

What’s Behind Keyboards And Access Readers?

The flow control systems used in companies, hotels, and other structures do not only include gates, badges, and smartphones but also (and above all) management software that interfaces with other systems to exchange data, validate access, analyze information, and much more. Other. Here’s how they work and which ones to choose. In corporate, commercial, industrial, museum, and hospitality settings (hotels, hospitals, etc.)—complex in terms of size or because sensitive activities take place within them—the buildings are often divided into areas, and, for safety reasons, access to the different sectors is subject to authorization.

Access control systems, therefore, represent everyday life wherever it is necessary to guarantee security, monitoring, and remote management of flows. This is not an evolution of the classic keys but something much more sophisticated and simple at the same time: an access control system is capable not only of opening a door or a gate but also of monitoring the flow of people and vehicles at the gates (whether on the perimeter or inside the structure) and integrating with the anti-intrusion and video surveillance systems.

Stand-Alone Or Centralized Solutions

Depending on the complexity and size of the spaces to be managed, stand-alone or centralized solutions can be evaluated. The former is designed to guarantee the safety of the flow of people and vehicles in small or individual spaces (offices, meeting rooms, technical rooms, external and internal car parks); they satisfy basic control needs such as the creation or revocation of access rights, the design of user groups, and the management of lost or stolen badges, but not the remote supervision and control of the entire system. 

These are simple solutions to install that do not require complex wiring or supervision systems because the reader acts directly on the single gate and already integrates the management software connected to the network. Centralized solutions are instead suitable in places and situations where the tracking of all access events and possible break-ins, temporal profiling of accesses, and supervision of system events in real-time are also required through floor plans and overviews of flows of people.

They ensure a wide range of scenarios for configuring automation systems, as well as interoperability with anti-intrusion and video surveillance systems that raise the level of security. In this case, all the readers are connected to a controller and managed in an “intelligent” way.

Why Software Is So Important

The operation of an access control system is based on hardware components (keyboards, readers, etc.) and software (AMS, i.e., Access Management System). The latter is of fundamental importance because, in addition to interfacing with databases (employees, customers, suppliers, etc.), it must be able to manage access in an intelligent and coordinated way (according to precise but also quickly modifiable rules if necessary), create reports, and analyze flows of people and vehicles to collect valuable information for optimizing company resources, hotels, etc.

It must be future-oriented and straightforward to set up and use. Other vital factors concern data security to protect privacy, integration with third-party systems, and scalability, i.e., the ability of the system to grow with the customer’s needs, thanks to pre-configured packs for tens, hundreds, or thousands of users, cards, and ports. Access control software was born as ad hoc applications developed based on specific languages and for certain operating systems. Over time, they have evolved from single-platform to multi-platform to adapt to pre-existing systems and thus guarantee greater flexibility and versatility. 

Evolution has led to the development of web-based platforms, i.e., based on the language of the Internet and accessible from any browser (Edge, Chrome, Firefox, etc.) installed on PCs (Windows, Mac, etc.) and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Web-based platforms offer many advantages (no more dedicated workstations, accessibility from any PC even in the event of a crash, etc.) and require fewer resources for development. Furthermore, they support cloud computing and storage with additional benefits, such as the possibility of relocation, sharing data between multiple locations, etc. 

The cloud also represents an excellent opportunity for smaller corporate and hospitality structures, where instead of an access control division (expensive and extra), safe and ultra-tested “turnkey” solutions are preferred that do not require dedicated hardware, servers, or backups.

The onboarding phase (i.e., the registration and assignment of access rights and the acquisition of biometric data) must also be simple and fast, with the possibility of importing and exporting data to and from existing databases. Thanks to profiles with a specific scope of access permissions, the assignment of permissions is simplified since it is not necessary to assign each consent to the owner but a simple, predefined role profile.

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Tailored And Scalable Solutions

There are hundreds of software solutions on the market that adapt to every need and size, from the simplest ones for residential access (often interfaced with home automation, burglar alarms, and video surveillance systems) or for small hotels up to the more complex ones for large commercial and corporate structures.

When choosing an AMS, it is necessary to evaluate not only current needs but also future ones, preferring scalable, easily expandable solutions that do not force you to do everything from scratch in the event of system integrations and expansions. It is also essential to take existing systems into account so as to exploit synergies and save time and costs.