Electronic door access control uses computers to solve the limitations of mechanical locks and keys. A wide range of methods can be used to replace mechanical keys. Some kind of remote telemetry unit at each door location grants access based on the credential presented such as; password entered on a keypad, a swipe card used with a proximity sensor, or even biometrics. The decision can be made locally by the door unit, remotely by a central management system or cooperatively by sharing login profiles and access requests.
When access is granted, the door is unlocked for a predetermined time and the transaction is recorded. When access is refused, the door remains locked and the attempted access is recorded. The system will also monitor the door and alarm if the door is forced open or held open too long after being unlocked.