Data Card Alberta Ltd. sells, supports and provides service for several ID Card solutions and related products through both direct representation and through authorized agents, to provide our customers with professional and consistent sales & service support. This level of commitment by Data Card Alberta Ltd. and their authorized agents, serves to insure your investment in the years ahead and allows a reasonable amortization of this investment.
How to Select an ID System
When you make a decision to purchase an ID system there are many important factors to consider. Consider not only the current but also the future needs for your ID system. Too often organizations are short sighted and only look at the immediate need for a photo-ID card. Keep in mind that there may be other card related applications like access control, time and attendance, parking lot access, network authentication, vending and copy machine control and cashless cafeteria applications. All of these applications can be tied to a single ID-card with a little foresight. There is no need for people in your organization to carry multiple cards.
Here are a few important things to consider when buying an ID system:
Photo-ID Software is the heart of your system. The right software will allow you to accommodate all of your present and future ID card applications. Some versions of software allow you to retrieve and share relevant ID card data from existing databases over a LAN/WAN saving you time and eliminating errors from double data entry. Be sure that you know the types of databases that you want to share data with before you select your photo-ID software. Make sure that the photo-ID software that you purchase will allow you to interact with the databases for your access control, time and attendance or other card related systems of the present and future.
The data you keep in your ID database can have many uses beyond the ID card. Standard and customizable report capabilities may provide benefits to you. You may also want remote users to be able to view some of the data in the ID database. Security guards as an example may need to verify the identity of an employee who has forgotten or lost his or her card.
Don’t get tied to a proprietary photo-ID software package that is integrated into your access control or time and attendance system. Proprietary systems are typically single dimensional and designed to make you a captive of the vendor. Proprietary software is the biggest reason people carry multiple cards.
Some Photo-ID software packages are designed to be more intuitive making them easier to learn and easier to use. Even well designed software can be hard to learn without help. The more capabilities included with your Photo-ID software the more likely that you will want to purchase an on-site training package. A few hours of formal training can save you weeks of trial and error and help you learn to use all of the capabilities of your software package. Professional installation can help you create card formats and/or link data fields to existing databases. This can be important if you don’t have the time or expertise.
If you anticipate possible requirements in the future for the capture and storage of biometrics or for smart card personalization make sure that your photo-ID software will allow you to accommodate those requirements. If the version of software that you buy does not have these capabilities make sure that there are inexpensive upgrade versions available. Some software packages can be stored on a central server allowing authorized remote work stations to access the software using a simple web browser to view, change or print ID data. You may want to move to a program like this in the future so make sure that there is an easy and inexpensive migration path from the software you buy.
It sounds confusing but one of our knowledgeable consultants can spend a few minutes discussing your requirements with you and help you select the best software for your present and future needs.
Datacard Group is pleased to announce a new capture offering with the release of the DSLR-1 Camera Plug-In. The Datacard DSLR-1 Camera Plug-in replaces the functionality previously found in the Datacard® TruTM Photo Professional solution. By allowing Datacard’s sales channels and/or end users to source their own DSLR cameras, Datacard is able to recommend a larger selection of market available cameras at a lower total cost of ownership for the entire solution without compromising image quality and functionality. This change in strategy for Datacard was dictated by the changes in the camera industry from underlying camera lifecycle, pricing and functionality perspectives. Datacard will continue to stay ahead of market trends and continue to develop additional plug-ins over time to support additional compatibility with other manufacturers and additional cameras as the camera market continues to rapidly change and evolve.
The new camera plug-in will be compatible with 11 current models of Canon® digital SLR cameras (listed below). There will be no charge for this plug-in and it will be compatible with Datacard® ID Works® identification software, Datacard® WebIDTM Workstation identity information software v6.0 and above and Datacard® ViaNet® identity information software.
The DSLR-1 Camera Plug-In is available via download on Datacard.com under Products and Solutions/ID Software/ID Works/Support & Drivers/Drivers and Downloads/ID Software/Standard, as well as PartnerPageSM under Service & Support/Software & Capture/ID Works/Download.
Live Video Streaming – Canon DSLR cameras offer exceptional live video streaming. You will notice a great improvement in this feature from the previous cameras.
Auto-Capture – With the mouse, simply click the photo field in ID Works®, WebIDTM or ViaNet® software and the image is automatically captured. When an operator initiates a photo capture, the camera takes the picture without further operator intervention. Use this option when speed in enrolling is the prime consideration.
Auto-Crop – Once the image has been captured, it is automatically cropped and appears in the ID Works, WebID or ViaNet software photo field. This increases the speed of the capture time since the operator does not need to crop the image and it also provides images that are consistently cropped. The system administrator can adjust the crop ratio settings when configuring the camera and can also select the option of viewing the multiple photo select screen (3x3 photo screen). This can be used for situations where the brightness of the image needs to be adjusted on a subject by subject basis.
Manual Capture (Live Video) – For customers that want to view the subject “live” on the computer monitor before capturing the photo, they can configure the software for manual capture. With the mouse, click once in the image field and the live video screen appears. The operator then takes the photo and the image is frozen. When used with auto-crop, a rectangle is superimposed on the live video screen so that the operator can easily confirm that the subject is inside the rectangle and that the rectangle is inside the backdrop.
Manual Crop – Once the image has been captured (auto-capture or manual capture), the crop screen will appear. The operator can then manually adjust the crop width using the mouse to resize the rectangle box.
DSLR-1 Camera Plug-In
Supported Operating Systems
· All ID Works software editions v5.1 SP1 and above (including v6.0 and v6.5)
· WebID Workstation software v6.0 and above
· Capture Server v5.0 and above
· ViaNet Workstation software v6.0
· Microsoft® Windows® XP with SP3 or above (32 bit)
· Microsoft® Windows Vista® with SP1 or above (32 and 64 bit)
· Windows® 7 (32 and 64 bit)
The Card Printer is usually the most important factor in the reliability of the ID system, the durability and security of the card and the card technologies your system can support. While most people focus on the speed of the printer when making a purchase decision; that is probably one of the less important factors. The print speed of different printer models typically varies less than 15 seconds per card. It is more important that you decide the present and potential future physical characteristics of your ID card. Do you need to print on the front side of the card only or front and back? Do you need to encode a magnetic stripe or a smart card? Many printers cannot be upgraded in the field so make sure that if you think that you will ever need any of these capabilities in the future that you buy them today
Card durability is one of the most important considerations when selecting a printer. If you want the ID card to last several years or tolerate the constant abrasion of contact card readers you need a more durable card. Applying a polyester laminate over the printed area of the card will make it durable enough to tolerate significant surface abrasion. You must buy a printer with a laminator station if this is important to you. Printers with laminator stations can also apply a custom hologram for enhanced security.
Printers have the most mechanical components of any part of a photo-ID system and as such are most likely to experience downtime. The most popular brands of printers have become the most popular because they are the most reliable products. Buy one of the top brands and you won’t be sorry. Today’s card printers are much more reliable than those sold even a few years ago but they still break and usually when you need them most. Printers also break more frequently when they are not cleaned, adjusted and lubricated at regular intervals. A good on-site service program will include regular scheduled preventative maintenance. Unless you have the time to box up the printer and send it back to the factory whenever it has problems you should buy from a local dealer that offers on-site service and support.
Service and Support will be with you long after you have forgotten the price of your photo-ID system. Unless you have the time and expertise you probably will need help to set up your photo-ID-system, connect it to your network, establish database links and create card formats. On-site training to show you how to use all of the important features of your photo-ID software and hardware can save you dozens of hours trying to figure it out on your own and make your system productive from the beginning. On-site service instead of “send it back to the factory” service will allow you to use your photo-ID system every time you need it and assure you that when downtime occurs it is just for a few hours rather than a few weeks.
Make sure that the dealer that sells you your photo-ID system can provide on-site installation services, training, and service to assure that your photo-ID system will meet your needs from the beginning and throughout the years.