Jacob and Jacob,
Thank you both for your thoughts.
First, you give me credit for being way more technically savvy than I actually am, so I only followed some of what you wrote :-).
What I took away was:
1) One can use an RFID card as the trigger to control the electric strike for the front (commercial) door, and each of those swipes can then be written to (at a minimum) a simple spreadsheet to log in who is coming in to our space.
2) If we want to get fancy, we can have that swipe also connect to our check-in/check-out system, via some kind of hacked together, but not complicated program (well, not to someone who knows how to do these things). This is not possible with a code system that triggers the electric strike (Jacob J - do I have that correct?)
3) We can use that as our check-in-check-out mechanism, but it won't completely work if someone holds the door for someone else as they enter.
(I appreciate the pros and cons of a slowed down check in for the face-to-face time. Thanks, Jacob S.)
4) Even if we don't connect the swipes to the check-in/check-out process, we can use the log for back-up after hours if the simple spreadsheet log created by the swipes does not match the check-in/out system, as Jacob S described (or I think that's what you were saying).
What I didn't quite follow is Jacob Jay's statement: " if your management app has an API (e.g. Nexudus), you can hack together a quick script to poll your own RFID reader and query/update that app."
We do use Nexudus, but what do you mean about polling the RFID reader and updating the app?
Also, if the coded system I'm looking at has an audit train and each user has a unique code, couldn't I still figure out who was in the space after hours when they forget to check-in/out (assuming the check-in/out is not hooked to the entry)?
Thanks so much! I'm a real newbie at all this, having just started working in a coworking space less than 2 months ago.