Your Cheat Sheet to ONVIF® Profiles A and T


On July 25, 2017—just two weeks after announcing the final release of Profile A—ONVIF® announced the release candidate for Profile T. ONVIF is the leading global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products and the goal of Profiles is to provide and promote open interfaces to the security industry for effective interoperability.

For system integrators, this means use of the same open standard defined for all network attached devices, easy and seamless integration of common functionalities through ease of installation, and that integrated solutions can be built using products from multiple suppliers. This is also a selling point that integrators can take advantage of when pitching to end users. Not only does it expand the end user’s product options to any device from any supplier, but it also reduces integration costs and cost of ownership.

Video: ONVIF Profile A and Profile T Update

In this TECHbrief, we’ll break down the features and practical applications for both Profile A and Profile T to give you a better understanding of how you can use these specifications to your advantage when designing a security system.

Profile A

Profile A allows access control devices from different manufacturers to be used in the same system. It is the first open specification that allows for the mixing and matching of access control devices and clients within a system, facilitating interoperability for multi-supplier projects. Profile A is an addition to Profile C. However, Profile A focuses further on credentials and programming of the hardware. Both A and C work in conjunction with each other, but Profile A is for broader access control configuration.


  • Open device driver allows end users to integrate control panels and management software from different manufacturers
  • Ability to grant/revoke credentials, create schedules and change privileges
  • Enables integration between access control and IP video management systems
  • Provides an interface for ONVIF member developers to use when developing access control software and other security products
  • Service-Oriented Architecture principles allow different components to be replaced or updated independently - Profile A provides the bridge between the legacy hardware and new software if both are Profile A conformant
  • Defines the requirements that govern how one Profile A application can communicate and interact with another, facilitating interoperability for projects with components from multiple suppliers

Click here to see which products are Profile A conformant.

Profile T

Profile T is a draft specification with advanced streaming capabilities that includes support for H.265 video compression and an expanded feature set that extends the capabilities of ONVIF video Profiles for systems integrators and end users.

Profile T is a release candidate, meaning ONVIF has completed all of the necessary studies and has released it for a six-month testing period to evaluate it in real-world technology scenarios. During this time, members of the ONVIF community, including Anixter Infrastructure Solutions LabSM, are encouraged to test their products for conformance to the final version of Profile T. The goal is to allow members to more quickly introduce conformant products when the final version of Profile T is released in early 2018.


  • Supports high-efficiency video coding (HEVC), also known as H.265
  • Includes Transport Layer Security (TLS) enabled communications to add another level of security to communications between Profile T-conformant clients and devices
  • Bidirectional audio streaming
  • Standardization of events
  • Imaging configuration
  • On-screen display configuration
  • Advanced streaming supports transport over Websockets, allowing end users to stream video to a browser rather than a VMS client
  • Establishes conformance for motion detection, metadata streaming, analytics and more

Click here for up-to-date information on ONVIF Profile T.