ID card design and printer software makes it easy to design and print beautiful and secure ID cards that incorporate barcodes, images, logos, photos, and text, among others. It’s an essential element of any Photo ID printing and issuance system. As such, choosing the right software version is a crucial decision. To arrive at an informed choice, consider the following when narrowing down your options:
- Database Management and Compatibility
- Data Capture Capabilities
- Encoding Options
- Visitor Management & Time and Attendance Tracking Capabilities
- Security Features
Database Features and Compatibility
Most ID printer software packages, including the most basic ones, have the ability to connect to an existing database. Some can access variable ID data from file-based databases like Microsoft Access, dBase, Excel, and FoxPro. Others have greater compatibility with OBDC/OLE DB databases such us Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle. Speak with your IT department to find out which type of database is being used in your office.
In terms of cardholder information storage, entry-level ID software like AlphaCard ID Suite Light can hold a maximum of 200 cardholder records. This is ideal for small to medium businesses and organizations. For corporations with multiple branches that need external or networked database access, elite versions are also available.
Data Capture Capabilities
For added security, some organizations prefer adding digitalized signatures and fingerprints to their ID badges. If you want to incorporate this feature to your ID cards, you may need a more advanced card software version.
Some ID cards feature magnetic stripes and barcodes for added functionality. Not all ID card software support data encoding functions so make sure to check with your ID software vendor before ordering. For example, all versions of AlphaCard ID Suite can encode 1D barcodes and magnetic stripe cards, but only AlphaCard ID Suite Elite can encode MIFARE cards or read prox cards.
Higher-tiered editions of ID printer software are often packed with robust security features such us digital keys that are restricted to authorized users, password protection, user permissions, watermarks, as well as individual user and group accounts to ensure that only authorized personnel are able to design and print ID cards.
All card printer software packages share the same capability to design and print ID badges that feature images, text, and barcodes. The major differences lie in the database capability, encoding options, card tracking, and security features. Here’s a quick guide for your reference:
|ENTRY-LEVEL||Ideal for companies who require basic Photo ID cards with no or limited database functionality.||ID card features include photo, logo, text, and a basic barcode|
|MID-LEVEL||Ideal for businesses who require a network-accessible external database capability printing more than 200 cards per year.||ID card features include all those listed above plus 2D barcodes, magnetic stripes, multiple data fields and digitalized signatures.|
|HIGH-END||Ideal for corporations with multiple branches who require flexible databases with extensive network accessibility and robust security||ID card features include all those listed above plus smart card encoding, time and attendance tracking, and fingerprint integration, among others.|
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