How Cloud Databases Transformed the ID Card Industry

How Cloud Databases Transformed the ID Card Industry

In recent years, most organizations worldwide have been moving their software as well as databases to the cloud. The ID industry is no exception when it is moving rapidly with this technology revolution.

The whole “database in the cloud” concept is not new. Even though there have been several cloud-based offerings on the ID market, it is natural that there are still doubts and questions. As a global provider for a cloud-based ID Management Solution, we often received questions about the level of security when data is pulled from existing databases to the cloud, what are the possibilities to connect multiple databases, and so on?

Therefore, in this blog, we will explore the cloud database in the context of ID Card Issuance and ID Management, especially with the databases in the CardExchange Cloud Suite.

Cloud-based solution for ID card issuance and management

Recently, HID Global has published an interesting article explaining what it means for ID Card Issuance now that we are moving faster than ever with the cloud concept. Conventionally, with the desktop software, creating ID cards requires a complete setup in one workspace involving a personal computer, a card printer, cameras, and more. The process involves designing a card template, managing records using a networked database, and then sending the card to the printer. Now with the cloud-based model, this entire process can be managed remotely whilst security and scalability levels are even enhanced.

CardExchange has accomplished a breakthrough with the introduction of the CardExchange Cloud Suite, a cloud-based ID Management Solution. It includes four applications that enable organizations of all industries and sizes to streamline and ultimately secure the ID card issuance and management process.

  • CardExchange Stand is a self-service portal for your end-users to upload a photo, manage and report card status, and a digital ID.
  • CardExchange Controller is a credential management system (CMS) to manage, issue credentials and approve cardholder information.
  • CardExchange Admin Center is the central location to customize all your cloud applications.
  • CardExchange Press is your professional ID card design, encode and print software.

The Controller and the Stand are single-page applications. They along with the databases and related services are hosted on Microsoft Azure, which has the biggest and strongest global infrastructure, with 55 regions, more than any other cloud provider.

In simplest words, a cloud database refers to a cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) delivery model that lets organizations store, manage, and retrieve data from the cloud. The key advantage and difference from the databases in the desktop applications is the scalability, which means you only pay for what you need. CardExchange products with their databases in the cloud deliver the most advanced features designed exclusively for your organization. It is essential in offering a seamless process from ID enrolments, ID card production, and issuance to ID management.

What does it mean to your business? We are going to find out some of the benefits and possibilities.

Connecting databases

The people within the Credentials Management System (CMS) like the Controller CMS are most likely imported from external applications. Think of student registration system and/or employee HR databases. They can be imported via the CSV import functionality or with live connectors that connect databases. The CardExchange Bridge in the Cloud Suite is one great example of these connectors but even better since there are three methods to choose from:

  • Bridge Local is a local Windows service that runs on a set schedule to import data from one or more source databases into CardExchange Controller.
  • Bridge API refers to a REST API that can be used to manage data import directly from external systems.
  • Bridge Connect is a connector service in which we design and develop connectors specifically for your organization and its existing databases.

Enhancing Security

Our products work with the Azure SQL Database which enables tamper-evident cryptographic verification, remediate potential threats in real-time, multi-layered protection with built-in security controls, and data protection with Always Encrypted technology. Hence, all CardExchange customer data is securely stored in Azure SQL Database. This service offers encryption-at rest through Transparent Data Encryption, detailed audit trails and point-in-time restore up to 35 days. By working with the best database provider, we keep you, your data, and your end-users’ data safe and secured.

In addition, the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol protect data when it is travelling between the cloud services and customers. It provides strong authentication, message privacy and integrity, and interoperability, which ensures that your data is protected in transit.

Importing & Exporting

The databases of our Cloud applications allow importing and exporting multiple types of data.

  • Importing persons

In most situations the persons available within the CMS coming from external sources like student registrations and the HR system. Beside the importing via connectors, the Controller offers the possibility to manually import person via a CSV or an MS Excel file. You can import up to 5,000 records at a time in this case.

  • Importing and exporting Production

In Controller CMS, we provide the Print section where you will find all the persons that have an active profile and credential and are approved for production. If you use internal print production like CardExchange Press, these persons appear in the Press production environment, and you can start printing. With the databases in the cloud, it allows the Press to write the production results back to the CMS database and changes the status to Produced.

If you are not using any internal production applications like the Press and hardware but use an external card service bureau for your production and enrollment, the Print section within the Controller CMS offers the options to create the external production data. We currently support CSV files, MS Excel, and MS Access. The information exported contains not only the person record information but also additional fields like Chip Serial Number, Print Date, and Number of Tries. To use these fields within the Controller, they need to be provided with actual production information.

When the external company produces the credentials, the CMS needs to be aware of the production results. The external company should provide the file with the production results and import it.

  • Importing and exporting photos

In situations where, for example, a school photographer made all the photos, the Photo Manager offers the option to import these photos. Importing photos is done like importing persons using an intuitive wizard. Exporting is also available, which is done by clicking a simple button. You will just need to specify the file name and in which format you want to export the photo.


These functionalities are only several benefits you get by having cloud-based ID production and management applications. Migrating the databases of these applications to the cloud provides the users more data management options and flexibility that traditional databases cannot offer. In short, it reduces dependencies on local and physical machines and eliminates their performance factors. Moreover, the databases in the cloud utilize scaling capabilities without compromising proper data security. In fact, it even elevates the level of security for your process. If you are looking to adopt a cloud-based solution like CardExchange Cloud Suite, our team of experts can help you with more information. Leave a comment, we will contact you shortly!



Yasmijn Oosterhof

19 April 2022

15 July 2022

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