The user profiles are a neverending source of issues, it seems! Get e-mails with all sort of questions regarding populating and using the user profile. Today, I’ll address the concept of master/supplementary data sources.
The User profile store contains the user account property information. This information is obtained by importing it from a directory or a data source that contains user accounts. MOSS 2007 can import a list of domain users from the Active Directory directory service, LDAP server, or the Business Data Catalog. In addition, you can write code against the object model to import information from other directory services or applications. You can schedule regular imports to the user profile store, and these can be incremental or full.
Master and supplementary data sources
But what if you need more data fields in your user profiles than your Active directory contains? What if you for instance have additional data in database or retrieved by a web service that you want to use for personalization or audience targeting? Office SharePoint Server 2007 treats Active Directory and LDAP directories as master connections for importing user information; that is, it can use them as a source to create user profiles. This master connection is responsible for adding and removing users from the user profiles database.
To add supplementary user profile info you use one or several supplementary data sources. They cannot add or remove users (like the master connection), but they can provide additional user information not available in the master connection. A Business Data Catalog data source is a typical supplementary data source.
There is a "preliminary" sample under way at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms585895.aspx. Also check out http://blah.winsmarts.com/2007-4-SharePoint_2007__BDC_-_User_Profiles.aspx.
© Copyright 2008, Tomas Elfving