Resources Tree - Need more levels/branches

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48 comments

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    Chetan Sathaye

    Just to add to my above post -- I feel the resources list should be location based instead of server based. While a server-based list is good for the engineer, its no use for the security operator. An option to switch between Server/Location would be ideal

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    Tomasz Polus

    I also agree. Here is simple example: when we merge servers to a hive, only administrator can see camera-to-server assignment, while all other users can only see the total camera list? Just imagine 50 sites/locations (servers), each with 10 cameras. Then on the left side we can see a total huge list of 500 cameras, instead of much simpler list of 50 servers with expanding list of their own cameras.

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    Fredrik Ahlsen

    I would likt to see them displayed in files/folders like you say,
    And I also wish it was possible to host files on a Nx server to make some files available for all clients.

    This way you can make for example a image file with a written routine (Text about how to handle an event) and bring this up in a layout together with cameras based on an analytic event.

    Support for more filetypes would also be nice.

    .pdf for example

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    Veronika Nazarova

    Hi Riaan Kruger

    After internal discussion we decided to add a system-wide setting that will restrict non-admin users to the view without the servers. We’ll do our best to release it together with grouping feature in 4.3.

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    Chetan Sathaye

    Fredrik - The problem arises when you have a Multi site, multi building, multi floor and multi section project. A single dimension layout tree is just not enough

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    Joel Sabine

    Just to add to this - I agree with the comments above. The resource tree becomes difficult to manage for large systems and often prevents Nx from being sold for larger sites.

    The end users typically don't care which server a camera is attached to and would prefer to see all cameras for an area/floor/building grouped together which is difficult if they're not all on the same server.

    Perhaps a better approach would be to have 2x different views/modes you could toggle between - a hardware/resource view and an building/area view?

    The hardware view could show the physical servers and which cameras are associated with them (as per current arrangement). The Building view could allow for the creation of folders/areas and sub folders/areas so cameras can be grouped logically. The servers and associated hardware would be hidden to simplify the view.

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    Joel Sabine

    Hi Norman,

    Yes, this is understood. The issue with the layouts is that you can't create sub-layouts and you still can't group cameras logically to assign permissions to users. Imagine creating 30-40 user groups for a large enterprise client and having to select permissions for over 1000 cameras, one at a time - it just doesn't work.

    Also, users like to create their own layouts - this gets really messy when you're trying to use them to logically break down building/areas into groupings and user layouts get mixed in with them.

    We have enterprise clients with thousands of cameras on single systems and would love nothing more than to have these systems running Nx, however without better ways to manage larger volumes of cameras there's simply no way this would ever get across the line.

    Even if we were to try to break these larger systems down into layouts to create the logical divisions for each area there would end up being 300+ layouts and it just gets to messy for the operators.

    For smaller systems it's really not that much of an issue but this is a major roadblock for us to be able to sell Nx to enterprise clients.

     

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    Aleksandr Patc

    Joel,

    This feature will be included in the 4.3 version for sure.

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    Matthew Fox

    I have had similar issues with merged systems.  I have used user roles to solve most of my issues regarding site specific cameras as we only allow certain sites to a specific site user.  I do have issues with some of the roles though as an advanced viewer can not create rules.

    I do also see the need for grouping in the resource tree.  I have one customer who has one this in the naming scheme of the cameras, Like "2nd Floor - Hallway 1," "2nd Floor - Hallway 2," and so on.  It's a pain but it works for him. 

    The last comment about the resource tree would be to improve the local files menu.  There has to be a better way to see local files.  It would be handy if it worked, but as of now, we don't use it nor do I even tell the customer about it...

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    Joel Sabine

    Sorry - I know the question wasn't directed at me but can I add a +1 for custom resource views?

    I completely agree with Riaan and even from the interactive demos something to highlight here is that it's key to be able to group cameras that are spread across multiple servers. As per Riaan's example - if I have numerous cameras from the same area spread across multiple servers, I need to be able to group them so users aren't required to browse multiple servers for this.

    From the interactive demo Aleksandr posted I noticed that this was still only providing the ability to create folders within a server rather than across the system (previously didn't notice this). Only administrators and technicians need to see the servers so using these as the basis for operator views/folders just makes the system more complicated to operate.

    I don't think it would be necessary to create custom resource views for each operator individually but rather create one custom resource view with folders/sub-folders for all of the cameras (regardless of server) and then assign permissions to folders/cameras for each user role.

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    Riaan Kruger

    Hi Tony, Aleksandr

    Thanks for everything. I feel I know Tony since I am always on your Youtube channel ;-)

    Cameras should ideally be grouped in any order regardless of which server it is actually recording on. For instance, in a casino, you have slots, tables, back of house, count-rooms, cash desks, restaurants, bars, arenas, parking, entrances, hotel and these cameras can amount to hundreds of cameras and can be on different servers. For ease of use one should be able to group these areas into camera groups regardless of which server the camera is recorded on. In failover, these groups should be maintained. If admin logs in, he/she can move cameras from one server to another, but the operators/users should not even know that these cameras are now recording on another Server.  The above also assists in storage management and calculations since the gambling law depicts how long each camera must record for. Allocating space to a server is then simplified because one can slot a low activity camera on a server with space, without worrying about the camera sequence and grouping.

    I agree with Joel that each operator does not need its own custom tree but restrictions to certain cameras should remain as at times, even the control room operators can be under investigation either covertly or not.

    I believe the same would apply to smart city surveillance. We are working on a smart city proposal which covers several cities and we are working with Briefcam on this as integrated partners. The city of Ekurhuleni's intention is to install approx. 2000 cameras in the greater Benoni and Kempton Park areas in South Africa. Camera Grouping will be key since they are looking at deploying this solution completely de-centralized meaning there will be 100's of servers per area. If we consider a medium size suburb, we might have 10 servers and we will need to group cameras according to the customer spec: ANPR cameras, Intersection cameras, by street, by suburb.....

    Hope this makes sense??? Keep up the good work.

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    Fredrik Ahlsen

    ok, I understand and agree.

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    Aleksandr Patc

    In 4.2 we are going to display servers in the tree for all users. Non-admin users will be able to see the server monitor items, but not move cameras between servers and edit server settings.

    We will also think about introducing additional grouping, but we'll have to somehow workaround problems with failover, which causes cameras to jump from one server to another, and it's unclear how groups should look like in this case.

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    Malcolm Goon Chew

    I also agree. Would like to see at least a Site level added. eg. Site -> Servers -> Cameras. At the moment our Admins and Users that monitor cameras over multiple sites, have to logout of one site and login to another site to see all the cameras. All on one page would be good.

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    paul chandler

    Excellent, thanks Aleksandr. Looking forward to 4.2 then.

    My particular use case...

    I have a merged 8 server system, 6 of which are mobile and connect wirelessly when on the property. The mobile servers stay running for several hours after the vehicle shuts down, but the cameras themselves only run for 5 minutes after vehicle shut down. The easiest way for the user to determine if the mobile server is online and accessible is to check the server icon, but to see the server, they have to be Administrator or above, which is undesirable.

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    Malcolm Goon Chew

    Thanks Aleksandr.

    A note to your post though. I've found that, non-admin users don't care what the server is. They just want to know where a camera is. So to clearly name the cameras so that everyone understands where they are, I've had to use long names. The ability to group cameras in several levels ie. Site -> Building -> Floor, would help immensely.

    My use case is currently 6 sites, 14 servers and 500 cameras. This will be 7 sites, 16 servers and 700 cameras by the end of 2020. And there are around 70 non-admin users and 80 layouts.

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    Aleksandr Patc

    Thank you, Malcolm.

    Would it be true to say that any given server has cameras from a single site only? Or there are servers which have cameras from 2 different sites?

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    Malcolm Goon Chew

    Hi Aleksandr,

    Yes, correct, Servers and cameras are single site only. But a number of users need access to multiple sites/buildings.

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    Norman - Nx Support

    Hello Joel Sabine,

    There is already a difference between the admin view and the other users view. Administrators will see the server, the users will see the layouts and devices that were assigned to them. 

    The current workflow for people, also for very large projects (thousands of cameras), is that people create layouts per areas/building/etc. 

    The collapse the camera view in the resource tree en expand the layout view in the resource tree. 

    That being said, this features has been request by more people and it is something we are discussing, but don't have a fixed date for when changes can be expected. 

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    Norman - Nx Support

    Hi Joel Sabine,

    I totally understand the need and requirements for large projects, I have done quite a few large project in my previous jobs and understand the pain you describe. 

    One thing I always emphasize in any project is to keep thing as simple as possible. 

    30-40 user groups and 300+ layouts would even for very large customers hard to manage. 
    I always try to keep it as small as possible, especially since users can create their own layouts. 

    That being said, this feature is listed, but it is a matter of resources and priorities that need to be resolved before we can create it. 

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    Tony Luce

    @... -  would it be possible to share an interactive mockup of how this feature works?

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    Aleksandr Patc

    Sure.

    For the groups – https://oxrev0.axshare.com/cameras_folders.html
    (click on the cameras under the "Server 2" to change states)

    For different tree states – https://e3efvz.axshare.com/cameras_groups.html
    (click on the "Servers" node in the tree and de-select "Show Servers" option)

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    Fredrik Ahlsen

    If you add forlders named "outdoor cameras" under multiple servers.
    Then disable "show servers" will the folders then be consolidated in to one or will the list show multiple folders with the same name?

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    Aleksandr Patc

    Folders with the same name at the same nesting level will be consolidated in to one.

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    Aleksandr Patc

    Matthew,

    What exactly in the local files node do want to get improved? Do you mean displaying all the files/folders in the tree structure, the same as in the OS, or something else?

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    Evgeny Balashov

    Fredrik, there is a way to do that: set the image with instruction as a layout background.

    It not a universal solution, but should solve the situation you describe until we have something better in place.

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    Fredrik Ahlsen

    Yes, that works as a workaround. In some cases we have just hosted them as a webpage on a webserver.
    But it would be a lot easier if Nx could handle it.

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    Norman - Nx Support

    @..., please check THIS topic of Matthew Fox regarding the local files node he suggests to be improved.

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    Fabian Penasse

    Hi,

    It would be a nice feature in 4.2 that in the role settings there would be a extra tab named "three view settings" where we could have the options to add folder and subfolders, change the icon of that folder (floor, building, map) and then be able to allocate  the camera/layout/iomodules/showreels/webpages/etc... to the corresponding folder. When the user logs in, he would only see that folder structure in his three view.

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    Riaan Kruger

    Our customers have not taken well to the latest release with all the servers visible to all users.

    We had to downgrade 2 large systems (660 and 700 channels) due to the customer not agreeing with that.

    Servers should be an admin feature only and one should then be able to group cameras in the resource tree according the the user and preferences of each customer.

    Do we have an estimated release date for version 4.2 yet?

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