Wednesday, 19 January 2011

User profiles in SharePoint 2010

Why do we need them?

User profiles are the foundation of many of the SharePoint 2010 features. Including:
  • People search ( searching on expertise / interests)
  • Organisational hierarchy browser
  • Content targeting
  • "My Sites" functionality (including notes / interests / ratings and the like).
So in short, you need user profiles.

What makes up the user profiles architecture?

There are two main parts relating to SharePoint.

1.  User profile service application(UPA)
This service application allows the management capability of the user profiles. So it provides a central location for configuring:
  • User profile properties
  • Organisation profiles
  • Audiences
  • Profile synchronization settings (you can also write back to source due to forefront identity manager capabilities)
  • Organization browsing and management settings
  • My Site settings (my site host / my site website)
A "user profile service " instance is required and allows all these features to be available via an api

2.  User profile synchronisation service
This is effectively a SharePoint wrapper for forefront identity manager components. It adds two windows services and is responsible for synchronising profile information with the user source. It is important to note that in SharePoint 2010 it is possible to send information back to the source in additional  to the predictable pulling of data.

There are three databases related to the user profiles:
  • Profile database - Stores the user profiles
  • Social database -Stores notes, tags and ratings
  • Synchronisation db - Used by the synch service for managing its operations

So there it is, a quick look into User profiles in 2010.

Related links:
Technet : User profile service overview
Technet : Create, edit, or delete a User Profile service application
This post is after listening to Spence talking in this video:
TechNet Radio: User Profiles in SharePoint 2010
I decided to make some notes for myself so I could refer to them in the future.

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