Glossary

AID

Identifier of an application stored in the memory of a MIFARE card. The AID needs to be specified in the project settings if you want to read a PCN from the card.

AdrCard

BALTECH card used to set a bus address for a reader.

API

BALTECH C API that is part of BALTECH SDK. It's based on BRP Communication Library and provides functions for all BRP commands.

Autoread

Operation mode in which the reader works completely autonomously, reads the required data from project cards, and interacts with card holders. Besides, the reader forwards the data read from the card to the host system or buffers it so the host system can retrieve it (learn more).

BALCFG

Editable format of a reader configuration

BEC

Deployable format of a reader configuration. A BEC file is read-only and end-to-end encrypted. It's generated when you finalize a configuration.

BRP (BALTECH Reader Protocol)

Protocol to send all commands supported by BALTECH readers (learn more). Via BRP, you can set up bidirectional communication between the host application and the reader, e.g. to not only poll the reader for results, but also to reset the reader or update its firmware.

BRP Communication Library

Dynamic library for Windows, macOS, and Linux that is part of BALTECH SDK. It contains C functions that provide an easy-to-use transport layer for BRP commands to BALTECH readers.

Card Formatter Tool

BALTECH tool for Windows PC to format a project card and program a PCN to it.

Card family

Group of card types using the same communication protocol

Card type

Card product name, e.g. HITAG, LEGIC, or MIFARE DESFire

Config Security Code

Measure to protect project settings against tampering (learn more)

ConfigCard

BALTECH card on which a reader configuration can be stored. Recommended solution to distribute a configuration to readers that cannot easily be connected to a computer.

ConfigEditor

BALTECH tool for Windows PC to create custom reader configurations. Part of BALTECH ToolSuite.

Configuration

Project-specific settings defining the reader's behavior. A configuration typically consists of project settings and device settings.

Customer Key

Key used for the end-to-end encryption of BEC files; either BALTECH default customer key or, for larger customers, the company's own customer key (learn more)

Device settings

Part of a reader configuration. It defines how to communicate with the host system and what feedback to give to the card holder interacting with the reader.

End-to-end encryption

Encryption of transmitted data across all transmission stations. BALTECH uses end-to-end encryption to protect BEC files during transmission between a computer and a reader (learn more).

Formatting

Process in which project-specific encryption keys and access conditions are applied to a project card. For cards shipped without a defined memory structure (e.g. LEGIC), the memory structure is applied during formatting as well.
To format a card, you can use the command VHL.formatcall_made or the Card Formatter Tool. The latter also programs a PCN to the card.

Host system

System to which a reader transmits the data read from the card and/or from which the reader receives commands. Usually, the host system consists of an application and a database with the expected data.

IC (Integrated Circuit)

Also referred to as (micro) chip. In SmartCards, an IC serves as the memory unit to store e.g. a PCN.

ID-engine Explorer

BALTECH tool for Windows PC to access reader details and analyze the structure of project cards. Part of BALTECH ToolSuite.

MAC (Message Authentication Code)

Short piece of information added to a message before sending. A MAC confirms that the message came from the stated sender and has not been changed, i.e. it protects message integrity (while encryption protects confidentiality).

LicenseCard

BALTECH card via which 125 kHz readers can be equipped with an Prox license to read HID Prox, Indala, and Keri project cards (learn more about LicenseCards).

MAD (MIFARE Application Directory)

List of applications on a MIFARE Classic/Plus card. Each application is associated with a sector of the card's memory.

Maintenance mode

Mode in which you get full unencrypted access to an Ethernet reader. This mode is recommended for troubleshooting and development (learn more).

PCN (Programmed Card Number)

Project-specific card number stored in the card's memory, usually encrypted.
Typically, 125 kHz cards only have a UID and no PCN. 13.56 MHz cards have a UID or random ID, but may also have a PCN. iClass cards are already shipped with PCNs by default, while MIFARE and LEGIC cards need to have it programmed. Usually, this has already been done when you receive the cards for your project - if not, you can program the PCN yourself using BALTECH Card Formatter Tool.

PKI Certificate Manager

BALTECH tool to create custom X.509 certificates for PKI-encrypted communication between a host and BALTECH Ethernet readers (learn more)

Project settings

Part of a reader configuration that defines what data to read from a project card.

Random ID

For privacy reasons, ISO 14443 cards may return random IDs, i.e. a different fake (and thus unusable) UID every time they're read. To check if this is true for your card, read its UID twice and compare the numbers. In case of random UIDs, you'll need an encryption key to read the real UID. You can use any key associated with your card.

Remote Support

BALTECH tool for Windows PC via which you can give BALTECH support employees access to your computer for troubleshooting purposes. Part of BALTECH ToolSuite.

RFID (Radio-frequency identification)

Technology for contactless identification and localization of objects using a transponder (also referred to as a radio tag) containing an identifying code

SDK (Software Development Kit)

Set of libraries for easy control of BALTECH readers via a host application. Consists of BRP Communication Library and BALTECH API (learn more about the SDK).

ToolSuite

Installable package combining BALTECH ConfigEditor, ID-engine Explorer, Uploader, and Remote Support

UID (Unique Identifier)

Serial number of a project card

Uploader

BALTECH tool for Windows PC to deploy firmware or configurations to readers. Part of BALTECH ToolSuite.

VHL (Very High Level card access)

Set of commands based on BRP. With VHL, you can handle nearly all aspects of the card technology while keeping your API minimalistic (learn more).