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The Original Key Wizard Software Company
first developed a master key system generator for the public through Locksmith Ledger, the foremost Locksmithing publication, in the BasicA language for IBM and compatibles.  This was when computers could display as many as 16 colors, boasted 1 megabyte of memory, 80486 processors and the maximum storage space was five hundred Megabytes.

Many computer programs worked as mostly spreadsheets, making complex applications difficult to use and learn.  Most applications that could track a master key system were no more than spreadsheets and required the operator to learn the spreadsheet programming and management in order to use the application.  This was far from a desired method that, once you knew how to navigate, took literally minutes to process that a single key had been cut and issued.  When I can cut a key in less than thirty seconds, and it then takes me five minutes to record that I made the key, well, human nature will tell you that the recording process will not get done.  Selecting a pinning pattern and assigning it to a door generally took many steps on many pages and as many steps to return to the starting point.  This was how many applications were created, many of those programming practices have finally been lost to old software packages, but some still persist.

In the Institutional setting, it is common for there to be a dedicated locksmith that handles all the lock and key problems for a large company or institution.  I did this for a world class company of Casino-Resorts for over fifteen years.  People are constantly coming and going and keys have to be monitored so that the security of the facility or enterprise is maintained.  In many cases this can involve thousands of locks, keys, key users, and so on.  This is why we initially developed Key Trax, to track the transfer of keys to various key users, and track multiple master key systems for multiple buildings and clients. 

As computers became more powerful we envisioned an application that could actually keep track of the constantly changing environment of Institutional Master Key Systems, but to do so in an intuitive manner, where any locksmith with a good understanding of master key systems would see instantly how to use it, and could record the issuance of a key in a dozen seconds instead of three to four minutes.  In 1995 we began developing Key Trax, the first Graphical User Interface Master Key Management Software, where the page layout that most locksmiths used was mimicked in a manageable application where generally, clicking on what you wanted gave you exactly that, and instantly. 

You could now see on the screen the constantly evolving master key system that many of us learned on paper and 3x5 index cards.  No more lost pages, lost records, lost index cards.  No erasing, white out, or any other FIX IT method, the application handled it all.  Further, locksmiths in institutional environments generally need to provide answers to Corporate officers, security and their own direct supervisors, now compiling and running reports on keys, doors, locks, key users and lost keys could be produced in minutes, and would be complete, I can tell you from experience that compiling these reports manually was very difficult at best. 

As we expanded our client base we received requests for features and tools that no other master key management software had ever provided, like a Cross-Key calculator, (The Key Wizard does not condone Cross-Keying: a security defeating practice) and networkability to allow others to use the information for key issuance and for employee severance to ensure that all critical keys are returned, but to limit access to information about the key cuts in the system and other secure actions as well as eliminating the need to have physical access to the Lock shop and lock shop records by allowing computer access from elsewhere in the enterprise.  So, in 2005 we completed development of Key Trax II.

As Locksmithing evolves and more advanced technology becomes available the traditional master key systems may not be capable of producing systems that are usable by more advanced mechanical key systems, such as pin in pin systems, and those systems with two key blades, each with their own bitting but connected.  We at The Key Wizard are working on Key Trax III which we plan on being able to accommodate not only these currently existing systems, but systems as yet undeveloped. We would appreciate any feedback you may have about future systems, please leave us feedback here.

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Last modified: 01/12/17