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Door Objects for Access Control
By: Ed Chandler, CPP
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It happened again yesterday. We were talking about a new project. The manufacturer that we wanted to use did not have, as part of their standard offering, a feature of door control that we would need. The site has several existing motorized revolving doors that are access controlled. The clean antipassback operation of these doors is critical to the success of the access control design. How should we proceed?

A concept has been forming for several years now that will allow greater flexibility for systems, simplicity of the setup programming, and a more realistic approach to the financial aspects of modifying the microcode that makes an access control door function. One size does not fit all in terms of the doors that are programmed into an access control system. The manufacturers continue to present reader or door screens with lots of options, switches, and relationships, and still we often need more to satisfy a clean installation. Because there were many different styles of airport jetway doors implemented during the big FAR107.14 days, many of the manufacturers created one or more separate subprograms called jetway doors. That is an example of a door object. Why not design the systems from the ground up with door objects?

The access control industry is not properly positioned to meet the customer needs for door operations. Even with some of the largest manufacturers, we have waited years for them to include a function that will allow us to lower the false alarm count from specific door applications. This is not because these manufacturers don’t see the use or the need for the requests. It is because every piece of software that is written into the systems is a business decision that must be weighed against other priorities. And, it is not easy to change the "one size fits all" code for a single case without affecting all of the other applications that are already installed.

This article presents a future concept, not a fait accompli. Some manufacturers are close to having door objects.  Let’s get the access control industry out of the microcode business, at least in terms of how a door operates. It is clear that the industry does not make a profit on that portion of their enterprise, a fact that is probably the driving factor in the intransigence of door operation changes. Most of the industry will be designing with some form of door objects soon, simply because the economic case is so strong. Implementation of this concept will allow for almost infinite flexibility while not being constrained by legacy code and the "one size fits all" constraints. To put all of this in perspective, let’s look at a short history of the industry.

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