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Profiling System

Commerce Server 2002

You use the Commerce Server Profiling System to collect information you specify for any business-related item. For example, you can collect profile information for anonymous users, a context (such as the date and time of a visit), or an organization.

Microsoft Commerce Server provides the ability to aggregate user profile data from multiple physical stores and present this to the application developer as a single object. More importantly, this capability can be easily extended to manage any logical business entity.

Profile information is stored in the Profiles data store, which can be based in Active Directory, SQL Server, or both. You can export data from the Profiles data store into the Data Warehouse, and then using Commerce Server Business Desk you can analyze the profile data that is collected.

The Profiling System includes the following key components:

  • Profiles resource. Use this resource to manage the collection of user data on your Web site. You manage the Profiles resource through Commerce Server Manager, which is hosted on the Microsoft Management Console. You create data sources, data objects, and data members, create and validate profile definitions, and export and import profile schema.
  • Profiles store. This is a group of tables in a Microsoft SQL Server database that stores profile definitions, site terms, and named expressions.
  • ProfileObject and ProfileService objects. When developing a site, use the ProfileObject object to retrieve the data in specific profile object instances and modify the property values for that profile object. Use the ProfileService object to create, retrieve, and delete ProfileObject objects.
  • OLE DB Provider for Commerce Server. This is used to aggregate ProfileObject object data from multiple underlying data stores and expose the data as a single OLE DB Row object.
  • Authentication tools. Manage user authentication using the following tools:
    • AuthManager. A Component Object Model (COM) object that exposes methods for identifying users and controlling access to dynamically generated content. For example, a site developer could invoke the GetUserID method of the AuthManager object to identify a user based on a cookie or a query string.
    • AuthFilter. An Internet Server Application Programming Interface (ISAPI) filter that is used and configured at the IIS - Commerce Server application level. It can be applied to all users visiting the application. AuthFilter provides five implementation modes: Windows Authentication, Customer Authentication, AutoCookie Generation, Windows Authentication with AutoCookie, and Custom Authentication with AutoCookie.
  • Rolling Key Encryption. A feature you use to change the public and private keys in Asymmetric Encryption to a new pair, and migrate data to use the new keys. Commerce Server supports Asymmetric Encryption (used for encrypting data that needs to be encrypted later, and One-Way Hashing (used for hiding data).
  • Business Desk Profiles modules. You use these modules to specify what information to collect about the users visiting your site and what information to import into the Data Warehouse. In addition, you determine the information to be displayed to specific users or groups of users, for example, by creating target expressions to match content to users, or specifying which users see which catalogs.

    You can use both the Profiles resource and the Business Desk Profiles modules to:

    • Create, edit, and delete site terms
    • Edit and delete profile definitions
    • Create, edit, and delete profiles
  • Partner Service feature in the Supplier Solution Site. If your Web site is based on the Supplier Solution Site, partners can use the Partner Profile feature on your Web site. Delegated administrators can edit the profile for their organization, add or update user profiles for their organization, and view the orders for all the users in their organization. You control the fields available to the delegated administrators by using Business Desk.
  • Customer Services feature in the Retail Solution Site. If your Web site is based on the Retail Solution Site, your Web site users can use the Customer Profile feature to edit their own profiles and to research the status of their orders. When users first enter the Customer Profile feature on your Web site, they are shown their profile data. Using Business Desk, you control the fields that are available for them to edit.

The following table lists key Commerce Server 2002 Help topics to help you learn more about profiles.

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