Global security products standardisation initiative ONVIF celebrates 10th Anniversary

Posted On 09 May 2018
Comment: Off

ONVIF, the global standardisation initiative for IP-based physical security products, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary, capping off a decade of growth and rising influence as a provider of interoperability standards to the physical security market. Beginning with a small group of competitive manufacturers who joined forces in 2008 and growing to 500 ONVIF member companies, ONVIF continues to refine and promote its specifications for interoperability between security technology devices and beyond.

“We’re so proud that what began life as just a common mindset ten years ago has transformed into everything ONVIF has become – a dynamic, member-driven organisation dedicated to enabling interoperability and end user freedom of choice to select products from a variety of different security technology vendors,” said Per Björkdahl, chairman of the ONVIF Steering Committee.

“Our official recognition and global adoption by the international standardisation community, which is our crowning achievement, is testament to the work of our volunteer leaders and supporting member companies and a direct reflection of our prominence as the leading interoperability standard within physical security today.”

ONVIF was founded as a technical alliance by Axis Communications, Sony and Bosch Security and Safety Systems. Today, ONVIF harbours nearly 10,000 conformant products and a member base spanning no less than six continents and 39 countries.

ONVIF specifications have been adopted by such global standards bodies as the International Electrotechnical Commission and Cenelec and are becoming increasingly applicable in growing security and connectivity environments such as Safe City initiatives, Internet of Things applications and intelligent building automation.

Video surveillance and access control

The alliance’s six Profiles cover the fundamental features in use in IP-based video surveillance and IP-based access control systems, as well as a growing list of more sophisticated functionalities now in demand by the market.

Per Bjorkdahl

Per Bjorkdahl

Profile S, for video streaming and configuration, as well as PTZ control, audio, multi-casting and relay outputs for supporting conformant devices and clients was the first ONVIF Profile released and remains the most widely used on the market.

ONVIF’s Profiles also include Profile C (released in 2013) for IP-based basic access control, Profile G (released in 2014) for edge storage and retrieval, Profile Q (released in 2016) for quick installation, Profile A (released last year) for broader access control configuration and Profile T (Release Candidate to be finalised in July) for advanced video streaming.

From its inception in 2008, the ONVIF organisation grew rapidly, attracting some 300 members and 1,000 conformant products by 2011. While the original focus was very much on interoperability between the components of an IP-based video surveillance system, the organisation announced in 2010 that it would expand its scope to IP-based physical access control.

10,000 conformant products

With a new breadth of product choice in place, the increased membership and conformant product levels showcased the expanding reach of ONVIF in the market. By 2015, ONVIF had grown to more than 5,000 conformant products and, between 2016 and 2017, the organisation witnessed its largest increase in membership in a two-year span. This year, ONVIF is preparing to exceed 10,000 products that conform to its Profiles.

“The demand for connectivity between IP-based devices will continue to skyrocket as industries begin to realise the efficiencies and actionable data produced by connecting IP devices within organisations,” asserted Björkdahl. “This aligns well with the vision of ONVIF that, one day, all security systems will share a single interface. We’re eager to help the industry realise this vision within the next decade.”

*Further information about ONVIF conformant products, including vendors and their conformant models, is available on the ONVIF website at:

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.