AMAG Technology is about to launch a PLAI adapter, making it possible for users of AMAG’s access control systems to interoperate more freely with those from other manufacturers according to company exec Stuart Tucker.
AMAG is a member of the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA), an organization devoted to making access control systems interoperate more efficiently. PSIA is also the originator of the PLAI specification (Physical Logical Access Interoperability), which is designed to allow users to use a single credential like a proximity card on multiple systems from multiple vendors. To achieve that level of interoperability, the vendor must write a PLAI adapter.
“It will be a part number people will be able to order with their AMAG system,” explained Tucker, vice-president, enterprise solutions, AMAG. “They install it and it basically gives them an interface to PLAI. It installs just like an XML interface or an Active Directory interface or any other interface. It will be a standard, generally available part. It’s simple; you shouldn’t need any professional services.”
In an interview with SP&T News, published in the Aug/Sept 2019 issue, PSIA executive director David Bunzel explained that PLAI includes two main components: “There’s adapters that the vendors incorporate into their product and then an agent that is available from a couple of different sources that acts as the air traffic controller to transfer information.”
The upside of PLAI, explained Bunzel, is that it allows organizations to maintain two (or more) access control systems without having to issue credentials for each one. This is particularly useful to organizations that have grown through acquisition, he added, and may have inherited a variety of access systems.
Tucker elaborated that PLAI can also act as a sort of single sign-on interface, issuing a unique credential to a new employee instead of multiple badges. The reverse would also true: removing access privileges for employees who have left an organization becomes a single step.
The hope is that PLAI will continue to break down barriers between disparate access control systems, said Tucker, offering end users a much smoother ride when it comes to managing these systems.
Other access control companies that have issued a PLAI adapter include Software House (Johnson Controls), Lenel and Kastle Systems, according to Bunzel. On the biometrics side, Idemia, EyeLock and Princeton Identity also have developed an adapter. Bunzel anticipates more companies will announce their own adapters soon.
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