PC Based Access Control Systems
a card access system is required to do more than just let
a person through a door it is common to link the system to
a PC to give central control of all administration.
creating a network of card readers around a site, all linked
by a common route of cabling, it is possible to control the
movements of all individuals in a site.
major benefit of linking multiple readers back to a PC is
the ease of adding and deleting cards. Instead of programming
each reader individually, central control of the system allows
all readers to be administered from a few simple mouse clicks.
When a card is added to the system, this information is transferred
to all doors instantaneously. If a card is lost or removed,
in the same way it can be deleted from the system.
cards are added individually via a PC you can also add notes
about the person who is carrying the card. For instance, the
database that you are creating within the access control software
could hold information such as, name, address, contact telephone
number, car registration, phone extension etc. Thus making
the system an employee database as well as an access control
system can also go into great depth on employee identification
and store images of the person carrying the card. In this
way, when a user tries to gain entry to certain areas the
system will flag up the action along with the picture of the
cardholder. This is a function called "challenging"
and is used to verify the identity of an employee. This is
especially useful where there is a gatehouse leading onto
a site and the ID can be verified before raising a barrier
and it is also a useful tool in maintaining security in sensitive
amount of information you can carry about a user is limitless
but access control systems are flexible and due to their database
facilities they can offer many other features that are useful
in the workplace.
using a card access system of this type it is possible to
use magnetic swipe readers and cards, proximity readers and
cards/tokens or to use either type of reading technology in
conjunction with a coded keypad to increase security on the
system so that a person wishing to enter through a door has
to use a PIN (Personal Identification Number) as well as the
card/token to gain access through the door.
typical system setup is outlined below -
you can see, a network is created between door controllers
which is linked back to a PC interface that is connected to
the serial port of a PC. The PC does not have to be dedicated
to the system and the system will operate regardless of if
the PC is on or off. As the software is built to be run on
a Windows operating system environment, it is common to have
the software running in the background of other Windows applications.
In the above example, using Paxton Net2 access control, if
the network link to the PC was severed then the the doors
would still function although additional programming of the
doors would not be possible until the network link was repaired.
utilising a TCP/IP connection it is possible to link several
sites from one or many PC's. An IP address is given to an
access control interface at the remote site and the details
are set up in the access control software. Therefore a single
PC can maintain and operate several sites for the same company
which in turn unifies the access control on all sites and
gives complete central administration. The illustration below
gives an example of this.
below are examples of what an access control database will
also achieve -
Reporting - A database will let you generate reports
of all kinds of transactions that happened on a site over
a period of time. Reports can instantly be printed for a group
of people or individuals as to where they were located in
a building at a given time. Reports can also show where individuals
have tried to gain access into areas that they do not have
authority to be in.
Call - In the event of a fire on site, whether real
or a practice drill, the PC will generate a report as to who
is on site at that moment. This can act as a register to ensure
that everyone is accounted for. The important factor with
this facility is that you must train your employees to use
their cards at all times on site and not to tailgate people
through doors, otherwise the report will be inaccurate.
& Attendance - Access control systems can have
designated readers set up to record the time that the employee
clocked in and out of work. This report can then be exported
to most major payroll packages (Sage, Pegasus etc) to calculate
wages. Again if an employee forgets to use their card for
this function then they will not be included in the report,
and therefore not paid!!!
Groups - Groups of employees are listed, i.e. office
workers, managers, cleaners etc. When adding cards into a
system the cardholder is defined to a group and instantly
has their access rights assigned. This is based on the assumption
that when a group is set up that the users of that group all
have common access rights.
zones - Time zones are set up and applied to user
groups. This means that employees only have access through
certain doors at certain times. An example would be that an
office worker only has access to the main entrance between
08.00 - 18.00 Monday through to Friday. There is no need to
gibe an office worker access outside of these hours and therefore
security risks are reduced from that group of people.
- This is a function generally used in conjunction with a
set of turnstiles where a person will not be allowed through
a door that has a reader on both sides of it if their card
is used to re-enter the door. The system tracks to see whether
the person has logged into or out of the building and will
only allow the user to enter if the previous transaction was
an exit or exit if the previous transaction was an entry.
This function is designed to stop people passing back cards
to people who would not have access to the area.
further information on our range of access control and any
product demonstrations, please do not hesitate to contact
us and we will be more than happy to assist you in selecting
the appropriate system based on your requirements.