published: July 13, 2018
Travis Gredley, Product Manager for Integrations at Avigilon, recently contributed an article to ONVIF’s monthly newsletter, outlining the top reasons why Avigilon uses ONVIF as its standard API. The article discusses the benefits of developing products with ONVIF as the standard protocol, including: easier integration with third-party systems; higher quality and faster time to market; staying at the cutting edge with ONVIF protocols; and innovating with ONVIF protocols.
Below is Travis’s full article, which can also be found in ONVIF’s blog.
ONVIF has become an important and effective standard for interoperability within the video security industry, and is expanding into other markets as well. As the market has evolved, the ONVIF protocol has increasingly become an expectation for new products.
As a full member of ONVIF, Avigilon solutions are built on an open platform for easy integration with third-party software and hardware, giving users the flexibility to leverage their existing resources and investments. Since 2009 we have utilized the ONVIF protocol as our standard application programming interface (API) within our video management software (VMS) offering and, with limited exceptions, in all of our camera offerings.
Here are four of the top benefits of developing products with ONVIF as the standard protocol:
1. Easier integration with third-party systems
As an end-to-end solutions provider, Avigilon offers both cameras and VMS software to the market. Since ONVIF provides a common language that is shared between manufacturers, using ONVIF as the primary method of integration between our cameras and VMS software make them compatible with other devices. In fact, in most cases, whether it is for a third-party VMS to connect our cameras or for our VMS to connect third-party devices, there is no additional development effort required. Common functionality, such as video stream connection and camera configuration, is already supported. This makes it easy to integrate our solutions with your current system, giving you the flexibility to leverage your existing resources and investments.
2. Higher quality and faster time to market
One of the key benefits of using the ONVIF protocol as our standard API is that it allows us to focus resources on one rather than many APIs, helping to reduce the time it takes to go to market and increase quality. By using the already-defined ONVIF specifications, our developers focus their time on meeting new market needs and creating differentiated features, rather than developing proprietary APIs.
3. Staying at the cutting edge with ONVIF protocols
One common misconception when it comes to using ONVIF is that it only provides the most basic functionality. In particular, there is a belief that it can take two or more years for some new functionality, such as specific configuration options for a camera, to be included into an ONVIF Profile. At Avigilon, we realize that ONVIF includes much more than just Profiles.
ONVIF Profiles are built upon Specifications which are constantly and actively updated to provide new capabilities. These Specifications are publically available on the ONVIF website and can be used by any ONVIF member company wishing to take advantage of these new sets of functionality well before they become part of a Profile. To help ensure that important functionality is available through ONVIF Specifications and Profiles, we actively take part in the ONVIF Profile T working group and the ONVIF Use Case Working group.
4. Innovating with ONVIF protocols
A second misconception about using ONVIF is that while it provides a good basis for common functionality, it is not possible to truly innovate or differentiate when using it. However, if the ONVIF Specifications don’t include a particular capability, ONVIF protocols allow us to build custom extensions which can still be seen and used by third-party manufacturers simply by extending their existing ONVIF integrations. This makes it easier for the value of those differentiating features to be realized on any platform our customers may choose.
Avigilon has benefitted from using ONVIF as its standard API as it provides our customers with easier integration with third-party systems while supporting the development of high quality products with a faster time to market. The flexibility that the ONVIF protocol provides has helped it become the video security industry’s standard for interoperability, making it an expectation among customers, and a clear choice for developers.
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