Axis Design Tool User's Guide

Axis Communications products design tool

Starting the tool

Simply click the AXIS Design Tool link to start the tool.
Note: If you are using Internet Explorer on Windows, you might need to accept running Active Content by responding to a warning message.


Interface overview

AXIS Design Tool helps you estimate bandwidth and storage needs for your surveillance project. The estimate is based on image resolution, frame rate, compression, recording options, and the surveillance scenario.

Scenarios with a lot of detail or movement will require more bandwidth and storage, compared to scenarios with less detail or movement. To begin, select a camera and one of the preloaded model scenarios, which allow for varying complexity and movement. Choose the scenario that is closest to your surveillance situation.

Viewing and recording settings are managed using profiles. Choose one of the built-in profiles, or create your own profile to match your project needs. To add new profiles or edit profile settings, click the Profiles button.

Understanding the results

Click the Summary button to view the results for the current project.

Result Estimated bandwidth/storage required for...
View Viewing
Rec Continuous recording
Event Event-based recording
Total  Viewing and all recordings
Storage  All recordings 

Please note that the results shown in the AXIS Design Tool are estimates only. Actual bandwidth and storage requirements will depend on the illumination and the motion being recorded. Be sure to allow for some margin when designing your system.

Editing product settings

You can edit product settings directly in the product listing. Use the keyboard to navigate and change the settings.

You can also double-click a product to open an edit dialog. Inside the edit dialog you will also see the recording and viewing settings that are applied to this camera or encoder. To change these settings, select a new profile from the Profile menu.

By selecting the Custom… profile you can make viewing and recording settings that only apply to the product being edited.

If a camera is not capable of fulfilling the settings made in the profile, a warning is displayed. The design tool will then use settings that best match that camera.


For each camera you need to select the scenario that is most similar to the actual surveillance situation.

  • Intersection – limited detail, medium movement, outdoor
  • Reception – limited detail, limited movement, indoor
  • Schoolyard – lots of detail, medium movement, outdoor
  • Stairway – lots of detail, medium of movement, indoor
  • Station – lots of detail, lots of movement, indoor

To view example videos showing the scenarios, double-click a product in your project to open the edit dialog. In the dialog, you can open example videos and also review different frame rates and compression settings.


Profiles are used to manage the viewing and recording settings for cameras and encoders. A profile holds separate settings for viewing, continuous recording and event recording. You can choose settings such as frame rate, resolution, codec and compression.

New AXIS Design Tool projects come with three pre-defined profiles. You can use these directly in your project, or edit them to suit your needs. You can also create any new profiles you may need. To add new profiles, or edit existing profiles, click the Profiles button. When you update a profile, settings for all cameras using that profile will be updated.


AXIS Design Tool provides three different reports:

  • Bandwidth estimate report – lists bandwidth and storage requirements for each camera and provides a total for the project.
  • Bill of materials – provides a summary of products included in the project. You can choose to include AXIS Camera Station licenses for your project in the bill of materials.
  • Hardware recommendations for AXIS Camera Station – these recommendations are based on the number of cameras and encoders in your project.

Click the Reports button to choose which report to open. The reports open in a separate window that you can print. You can also copy the contents of the report and paste into another document, for example a spreadsheet.

Export and import

The export and import functions are used to share and backup projects. Since AXIS Design Tool is a web application running in a web browser, you need to be online in order to save or open projects directly to or from your local disk.

If you are working off-line, you can export or import projects using copy and paste. When using this option, you copy project data between AXIS Design Tool and e.g. an e-mail or word processing document.

Project data is stored as an encoded text file. Do not alter the contents of the encoded data, as you will not be able to import into AXIS Design Tool.

Where is my project data?

AXIS Design Tool stores your projects locally on your computer, using your browser’s local storage. Each browser has its own local storage, so if you are using more than one browser, you will see different projects.

Also, browsers keep local storage separate for different web sites, so projects you have created using the online version of the design tool will not be visible when using the design tool from a USB or local disks, or the other way around.

To move projects between browsers, or between the online version of the tool and a local version, use the export and import functions.