In its most basic configuration, a mechanical push button lock has a single code that every user shares. This is fine for many applications, unless you need to change the code due practice lockset to turnover of an employee or because the PIN number was somehow compromised. The mechanical push button locksets require you to take apart the lock and re-adjust the mechanism in order to change the code that unlocks it.
The next level of stand alone locksets is battery operated electronic keypads that allow you to change the codes without disassembling the lock. Some of these locksets even support multiple codes for entry. By providing multiple codes, these keypads allow you to give a separate code to the babysitter, maid or security guard service. Most of these systems utilize standard batteries that support over 10,000 operations before they need to be replaced.
The 3rd tier for electronic stand alone locksets offer multiple codes, dual authentication through proximity, magnetic stripe or biometric templates. These locksets normally provide an audit trail of individuals who have used the lock that can be accessed through a hand held device such as a PDA or a laptop computer. The dual authentication locksets will require a PIN number and a card, or a PIN number and a valid fingerprint for entry.
As these are stand alone locksets, they require you to enroll each and every user individually at the lock. If you have multiple entrances with these locks, you will need to enroll separately at each one. If you need an entry report, you will need to download an audit trail from each lock and collate them separately. This can become quite a pain if you have more than a couple of doors and multiple users.
There are several options that need to be defined in order to provide you with the correct lockset for your application. You need to know whether it is a deadbolt, mortise or standard knob set, what the offset is and decide which finish you want. You can get locksets in many different finishes with the most common being stainless steel and bronze.