The ONVIF Device Manager (ODM) is a free and open-source software utility designed to manage ONVIF compliant network video devices such as IP cameras, video encoders, and network video recorders (NVRs). ONVIF, which stands for Open Network Video Interface Forum, is a global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, aimed at promoting interoperability between different manufacturers’ devices.

The ONVIF Device Manager provides the following functionalities:

  1. Device discovery: ODM can automatically discover ONVIF compliant devices connected to your network, simplifying the process of adding and managing these devices.
  2. Live video streaming: ODM allows users to view live video streams from ONVIF compliant cameras and video encoders, providing a way to monitor and control the devices in real-time.
  3. PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) control: If your camera or video encoder supports PTZ functionality, ODM provides an interface for controlling the movement and zoom of the camera.
  4. Device configuration: ODM lets you configure various settings for ONVIF compliant devices, such as network settings, video streaming settings, and security settings.
  5. Firmware updates: ODM can be used to update the firmware of ONVIF compliant devices, ensuring they are running the latest version and have the most up-to-date features and security patches.
  6. Event management: ODM supports the management of events generated by ONVIF compliant devices, allowing you to receive notifications when specific events occur (e.g., motion detection).
  7. Access control: ODM provides an interface for managing access control lists (ACLs) for ONVIF compliant devices, allowing you to control who can access the devices and their features.
  8. Analytics: ODM supports the configuration and management of video analytics capabilities on ONVIF compliant devices, enabling features such as motion detection, line crossing, and other intelligent video analysis functions.

It is important to note that while the ONVIF Device Manager is an excellent tool for managing ONVIF compliant devices, it may not support all features or functions of a specific device, especially if the manufacturer has implemented proprietary features outside of the ONVIF standard. Always consult your device’s documentation and manufacturer’s support for the most accurate information and guidance.

ONVIF Device Manager (ODM) is built upon the ONVIF specification, which defines a common protocol for communication between IP-based security devices. To understand the technical engineering details, it is crucial to delve into the ONVIF standard and its core components:

  1. ONVIF Specifications: ONVIF has multiple specifications that cover various aspects of IP-based security devices. These include:
  1. Web Services: ONVIF uses a set of standard web services for communication between devices, including SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and WSDL (Web Services Description Language). These web services provide a standardized way for devices to exchange messages and share information, ensuring interoperability between different manufacturers.
  2. WS-Discovery: ONVIF uses the WS-Discovery protocol to discover devices on the network. This protocol defines a multicast discovery mechanism that enables devices to broadcast their presence and be discovered by other devices or clients on the network.
  3. Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP): ONVIF compliant devices use RTSP to manage and control real-time media streams. This protocol allows clients to request and control the delivery of media streams from a server, facilitating features like play, pause, and seeking in live or recorded video streams.
  4. Security and Authentication: ONVIF devices support various security mechanisms, including user authentication via username and password, as well as encryption methods like TLS (Transport Layer Security) to protect the communication between devices.

In summary, ONVIF Device Manager is built upon a set of standardized protocols and specifications that ensure seamless interoperability between IP-based security devices from different manufacturers. The engineering details behind ODM involve the implementation of these specifications and protocols to provide a user-friendly interface for discovering, managing, and controlling ONVIF compliant devices.

What is ONVIF?

ONVIF is an organization, comprised of member companies from within the IP security industry

  • The mission of ONVIF is to provide and promote standardized interfaces for effective interoperability of IP-based physical security products
  • The three cornerstones of ONVIF are:
    • Standardization of communication between IP-based physical security products
    • Interoperability regardless of brand
    • Openess to all companies and organizations

Why Use ONVIF?

  • In a multi-vendor environment, ONVIF ensures that products will work seamlessly together
  • Chose between more than 25,000+ products to match your exact needs and preferences, regardless of vendor
  • As an installer, ONVIF saves you installation time, trouble, cost, and future-proofs your installation

ONVIF Structure

  • ONVIF consists of a wealth of specifications
  • These specifications are grouped into Profiles
  • A Profile has a fixed set of features
  • Profiles makes it easier to identify compatible products

ONVIF Profiles

  • The Profile specifies a set of features that must be supported by both client and device
  • Conformant products must support at least one Profile…
  • …but can support more than one…
  • Features in Profiles are either Mandatory or Conditional
  • Mandatory features must be supported
  • Conditional features only supported if relevant
  • i.e., PTZ functions can only be supported in PTZ cameras

ONVIF Conformant Products

  • All conformant products are listed on the ONVIF website
  • Only products listed here are guaranteed conformant

Where to Get More Information

  • General information on ONVIF:
  • Profiles:
  • List of conformant products:
  • Intro-videos:

ONVIF profiles make it easy to recognize how ONVIF conformant devices and clients are compatible with one another. An ONVIF profile has a fixed set of features that must be supported by a conformant device and client. It ensures that a client that conforms to Profile S, for example, will work with a device that also conforms to Profile S. There are also conditional features, which are features that shall be implemented by an ONVIF device or ONVIF client if it supports that feature in any way, including any proprietary way. The underlying functions of the features included in a profile are defined in the ONVIF Network Interface Specifications.

Clients and devices can support more than one ONVIF profile; for instance, a network camera with local storage can conform to both Profile S and G.

Conformance to profiles is the only way that ensures compatibility between ONVIF conformant products; therefore, only registered products with conformance to a profile are considered to be ONVIF conformant.

Access control systems can make use of Profiles ACD, and M. Video systems can make use of DGMS, and T.

To ensure effective interoperability of IP-based physical security products, ONVIF provides specifications referencing state-of-the-art cybersecurity standards. Compliance to regulations, however, are outside the scope of ONVIF.

Manufacturers, system architects and/or integrators are responsible for checking regulatory and other local requirements, ensuring solid product and system design, and implementing the appropriate security level for the use case.

The ONVIF profile symbols can only be used by ONVIF and its members to communicate an ONVIF conformant product.

A professional security integrator can use the ONVIF Device Manager (ODM) utility in various ways to streamline their work with ONVIF compliant devices. Here are ten examples:

  1. Device discovery: Quickly discover all ONVIF compliant devices on a client’s network, saving time and effort during the initial assessment and installation process.
  2. Network configuration: Configure network settings for devices, including IP addresses, subnet masks, and gateway information, to ensure seamless integration with the existing network infrastructure.
  3. Firmware updates: Ensure that all devices are running the latest firmware versions, benefiting from up-to-date features, performance improvements, and security patches.
  4. Video settings configuration: Adjust video streaming parameters, such as resolution, frame rate, and compression settings, to optimize video quality and network bandwidth usage according to the client’s requirements.
  5. PTZ control setup: Configure and test the Pan/Tilt/Zoom functionality of PTZ cameras to verify correct operation and make adjustments as needed for optimal coverage and performance.
  6. Event management: Set up and configure event triggers and notifications for motion detection, tampering, or other security-related events, ensuring that the client’s security system responds promptly and effectively to potential incidents.
  7. Access control management: Configure access control lists (ACLs) for devices, defining user roles and permissions to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive areas, video streams, or system settings.
  8. Video analytics configuration: Set up and fine-tune video analytics capabilities, such as motion detection, line crossing, or object tracking, to provide the client with valuable insights and proactive security measures.
  9. System integration: Verify that all devices are properly integrated with the client’s video management system (VMS) or other security software, ensuring seamless operation and compatibility.
  10. Troubleshooting: Diagnose and resolve issues with devices by accessing device logs, monitoring live video streams, and adjusting settings as necessary to ensure optimal system performance and reliability.

By leveraging the ONVIF Device Manager utility, a professional security integrator can streamline the installation, configuration, and maintenance of ONVIF compliant devices, resulting in a more efficient and effective security system for their clients.

ONVIF Device Manager:

Source: Urban Security Group;

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