Having standardised interfaces for IP-based physical security products can solve interoperability issues and offer more capabilities and functionalities. ONVIF, an industry forum driving interoperability, is proposing the use of ONVIF add-on to provide a more adaptable option to evolving technology and specification requirements.
ONVIF supports a number of profiles to see if devices and clients are compatible with one another. The features included in profiles cannot be changed. Access control systems can make use of Profiles A, C, D and M. Video systems can make use of D, G, M, Q (soon to be discontinued), S, and T.
Profile development can be a lengthy process. For this reason, ONVIF is now promoting the use of add-ons. An add-on, unlike a profile, supports version handling and can be updated quickly to adjust for new technology additions or updates.
The work starts with defining the network interface specifications for ONVIF conformant products. Selected specifications can then be packaged into ONVIF profiles or add-ons that allow for product conformance claims by ONVIF members. A product must successfully pass an ONVIF test tool to claim conformance to a profile, and optionally, an add-on.
An ONVIF add-on consists of at least one or more features that solve one use case. An add-on, by itself, is not comprehensive enough to qualify as a profile. Specifications for add-ons do not include optional requirements for devices/clients or conditional requirements for devices. To conform to an add-on, a product must also conform to an ONVIF profile.