ONVIF helps industry leverage standards

Recently released Profile Q addresses interoperability issues, functionality
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SAN RAMON, Calif.—ONVIF, a global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, has released Profile Q, the specification that features quick and easy discovery, set-up and configuration of conformant devices as well as advanced security features.

Jonathan Lewit, the new chair of ONVIF’s Communication Committee and director of technology leadership for Pelco, told Security Systems News that Profile Q addresses the initial set-up concerns when installing cameras on VMS systems.

“Profile S went through a lot of the features standardization—the functionality that was expected—but we identified a gap in getting those systems to connect with each other in the first place, as there were still some variances,” said Lewit, who noted that Profile Q addresses that gap and “helps standardize that side of the equation.”

Profile Q offers out-of-the-box functionality for systems integrators and end users with an easy set-up mechanism and basic device level configuration, streamlining the setup and connection of systems and devices. Profile Q also supports Transport Layer Security (TLS), a secure communication protocol that allows ONVIF devices themselves to communicate with clients across a network in a way that protects against tampering and eavesdropping. The profile has been in release candidate status in order to provide industry review and feedback prior to the final release.

Lewit said ONVIF’s profile concept is a layer on top of the ONVIF specification, which “is the actual protocol of how you write the communication between the devices,” he explained. “What we found is as people were integrating using those specifications there was still a variance in how people interpreted the technical part of the specification. So we introduced the profiles to say, ‘If the system and the device are compliant to a particular profile, then you know what features and functionality you are going to get from the integration of those devices.’”

Since the introduction of the profile concept, Lewit said, “We have seen a lot more of the snowball effect and it has become much more manageable for manufacturers.”

ONVIF is a non-profit organization of nearly 500 members driving the development of open global standards for effective interoperability of IP-based physical security products. Its mission is to provide and promote open interfaces to the security industry, said Lewit.

“You hear a lot about integration because we have an expectation that the devices we use to manage our daily lives can communicate with each other, and when you are building a security system, you have that same expectation,” he said. “There are a lot of different areas of expertise that go into building a compelling security system, and it is no longer feasible to expect that one company will be able to provide everything that you need, soup to nuts. Integration allows you to pick and choose all of the best elements and tie them together.”