Glossary of Terms

Common access control terms used in the industry and throughout Open Options products.

Access Area

A specific defined area wherein all access points to the area are secured by the system, and the access points can be configured and adjusted to set parameters on occupancy and permission attributes.

Access Credential

A medium that contains encoded information (which is recognized by the access control system) such as ID cards, key fobs, biometrics, and smart chips.

Access Level

A logical group of doors paired with a time schedule used to determine when and where a card is granted access in the system.

ACM (Access Control Model)

A group of objects that when associated together form a point of entry that is normally associated with a door or elevator.

ADA (American Disabilities Act)

Indicates that a setting or card designation is compliant with the American Disabilities Act, which provides specific parameters for access for personnel with disabilities. Cards with the ADA setting checked enable ADA parameters to take effect when the card is badged.


Person responsible for adding operators and assigning the specific privileges to the operators’ profiles and determining operator levels.

APB (Anti Pass Back)

Control prohibiting a card from entering an access area more than once without the system recognizing that the card has first exited the access area.


An identification card usually displaying a cardholder’s photo, signature or other specific identifying characteristics.

Badging Station

A hardware and software system used to obtain and save personal data about a cardholder (e.g., photo or signature).

Bar Code

A array of machine-readable rectangular bars and spaces arranged in a specific way to represent letters, numbers, and other human readable symbols.


A machine readable technology that allows for the unique identification of individuals by reading biological features (fingerprints, retina scans, etc.).


Sending an alarm to an alternate site or station following a user-defined time during which the alarm is unacknowledged.


Anyone who has been given an access credential.


The path in which the SSP controller communicates with the host or driver.


An operator-initiated event that causes a change or action within the access control system.


The data-gathering panel that makes local access decisions. Includes the SSP, SSP-C, and SSPE.


An “update” action to send saved information to the SSP. See Save.


A logical set of common data objects such as cardholders or hardware points.


Generally, it is the machine on which the driver resides. Sometimes refers to a given client machine, e.g. in reference to a host-based macro.

Host Settings

The settings which determine the behavior of the application at the host or workstation.

Info-Ready Reporting

A software development architecture that presents relevent system data directly within the application rather than having to run multiple external reports. NPower DNA allows operators to filter system events through simple drag and drop function as well as making common reports, such as "who has access," available from the right click context menu.


Horizontal orientation of pages, screen displays, or badges.


A graphic symbol used to represent a company or organization.

Machine Readable

A code or characters that can be read by machines.

Magnetic Stripe

Magnetic material, usually applied as a stripe on a card, used to encode cardholder information.


A defined set of actions or commands that can be manually executed by the operator or is based on a trigger event.


Hiding or suppressing alarms that the operator does not wish to be viewed.

MPG (Monitor Point Group)

A collection of monitor points that typically have been grouped for common manageability.


Anyone with access to the application. The Administrator is also an Operator, though generally distinguished in the documentation due to the difference in responsibility and permissions.


Synonymous with an SSP. See Controller.


The permission level of the operator environment. Required for permission to log on to the application.


Vertical orientation of pages, screen display, or badges.

Pre-Alarm Held

An alert given before an opened door reports “held open” alarm.


A non-contact system for reading cards. Data is exchanged between card and reader by radio frequency, fiber optics, induction, laser, or other non-mechanical contact technology.


A device that can read the encoding on a card or badge.

SSP (also SSP-EP, and SSP-D2)

Synonymous with panel and controller. See Controller.


An action to record information in the database. See Download.


Length of time an input will be ignored when it goes active during an access granted event. This only applies to inputs that are specified as the Door Contact.

Smart Card

A plastic card with an embedded microchip, which can be used to store information about the cardholder or record card transactions as they occur.


One of a series of circuit boards that communicates information about field devices like readers, contacts, motion detectors, etc., upstream to the SSP. (RSC-1, RSC-2, RSC-T, ISC-16, and OSC-16)


(1) A digital input that, if open, signals a cabinet tamper alarm at the device. (2) A digital input that signals power loss alarm at the device.

Time Schedules

Consist of time ranges that are associated with days or holidays. Time Schedules are used in connection with access levels and often as trigger events.


A system event that causes another event or macro to occur.