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ID Zone Learning Center

Find answers to your questions about photo identification and plastic card printing!

What is ID Software?

ID software is the program you will use to design your card template and create individual ID badges. Selecting the right ID software for your needs is just as important as selecting the right ID card printer, since more of your time will be spent working with the software than the printer.

Not all ID software is the same, so it’s important to select the software that is best suited for your individual needs. All ID card software programs have the ability to design and print cards, but some offer more advanced features than others. ID card software can be categorized into three levels: entry-level, mid-level, and full-featured.

Entry-Level Software

Entry-level software allows for basic card design and printing. If your printer came with free software (also called freeware), it will fall into the low end of this category. Entry-level software typically has limitations on the layout options of the card,  the number of images/fields allowed per card, and has very limited or no database functionality. No database capability means that you will not be able to save your card record data.

Is it right for me?

Entry-level software works well for small organizations that are looking to print simple graphics with small amounts of data printed on the cards and don’t need to maintain a database of card records. If you will need to keep a database of your cardholder's data or may need to reprint cards, you will want to invest in mid-level software.

Mid-Level Software 

Whereas entry-level software has very limited or no database capability, mid-level software has some database capability. This means you will have a database of the card data that has been entered into your system. This makes reprinting of cards very easy in situations where a card is lost or stolen. Some programs allow you to import or export data which will help you save time and money on data entry. Batch printing is included with database capability, which is useful in situations where you need to print a group of cards at the same time. Password protection and the ability to set up multiple logins and privileges are usually included also. This makes the program more secure by restricting access to the program to a small select group of users.

Is it right for me?

Mid-level software is ideal for small to medium sized organizations needing database capability and more flexibility in the amount of data and type of data printed on a card. It ialso may be a good choice for mid to large sized companies that do not need networking capabilities.

Fully-Featured Software

Full-featured software is compatible with Oracle and SQL databases and offers a user-friendly interface for capturing data from multiple image sources (camera, signature capture device, fingerprint scanner, etc.). This level of software also allows you to create and print 2D barcodes. Some programs also offer encoding solutions for smart cards.

Is it right for me?

For customers who operate over a corporate network or have multiple locations, full-featured software is a must.

Before buying software, take advantage of free trial versions to try out how easy-to-use the interface is and to determine exactly which features are required by your organization. Some software solutions offer easy, seamless upgrade paths that simply open up additional features. This allows you to upgrade your software edition without recreating your ID card templates or moving data between applications.

Choosing the best ID software for your identification needs can make or break your ID card program. There are many ID card creation software options out there, and some are better than others. Turn to an ID expert to help you select the software best suited for your printer and needs.