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Implementing a Profile Provider

The ASP.NET profile feature enables you to easily use different providers. You can use the SqlProfileProvider class that is included with the .NET Framework or you can implement your own provider.

You create a custom profile provider when:

  • You need to store profile information in a data source, such as in a FoxPro database or in an Oracle database, that is not supported by the profile providers included with the .NET Framework.

  • You need to manage profile information using a database schema that is different from the database schema used by the providers included with the .NET Framework. A common example is that you want to integrate profile information with user data in an existing SQL Server database.

To implement a profile provider, you create a class that inherits the System.Web.Profile..::.ProfileProvider abstract class. The ProfileProvider abstract class in turn inherits the System.Configuration..::.SettingsProvider abstract class, which inherits the System.Configuration.Provider..::.ProviderBase abstract class. Because of this inheritance chain, in addition to the required members of the ProfileProvider class, you must implement the required members of the SettingsProvider and ProviderBase classes.

The following tables describe the properties and methods that you must implement from the ProviderBase, SettingsProvider, and ProfileProvider abstract classes. To review an implementation of each member, see the How to: Build and Run the Profile Provider Example.

ProviderBase Members

Member

Description

Initialize method

Takes as input the name of the provider instance and a NameValueCollection of configuration settings. Used to set options and property values for the provider instance, including implementation-specific values and options specified in the machine configuration or Web.config file.

SettingsProvider Members

Member

Description

ApplicationName property

The application name that is stored with each profile. The profile provider uses the application name to store profile information separately for each application. This enables multiple ASP.NET applications to use the same data source without a conflict if the same user name is created in different applications. Alternatively, multiple ASP.NET applications can share a profile data source by specifying the same application name.

GetPropertyValues method

Takes as input a SettingsContext and a SettingsPropertyCollection object.

The SettingsContext provides information about the user. You can use the information as a primary key to retrieve profile property information for the user. Use the SettingsContext object to get the user name and whether the user is authenticated or anonymous.

The SettingsPropertyCollection contains a collection of SettingsProperty objects. Each SettingsProperty object provides the name and type of the property as well as additional information such as the default value for the property and whether the property is read-only. The GetPropertyValues method populates a SettingsPropertyValueCollection with SettingsPropertyValue objects based on the SettingsProperty objects provided as input. The values from the data source for the specified user are assigned to the PropertyValue properties for each SettingsPropertyValue object and the entire collection is returned.

Calling the method also updates the LastActivityDate value for the specified user profile to the current date and time.

SetPropertyValues method

Takes as input a SettingsContext and a SettingsPropertyValueCollection object.

The SettingsContext provides information about the user. You can use the information as a primary key to retrieve profile property information for the user. Use the SettingsContext object to get the user name and whether the user is authenticated or anonymous.

The SettingsPropertyValueCollection contains a collection of SettingsPropertyValue objects. Each SettingsPropertyValue object provides the name, type, and value of the property as well as additional information such as the default value for the property and whether the property is read-only. The SetPropertyValues method updates the profile property values in the data source for the specified user.

Calling the method also updates the LastActivityDate and LastUpdatedDate values for the specified user profile to the current date and time.

ProfileProvider Members

Member

Description

DeleteProfiles method

Takes as input a string array of user names and deletes from the data source all profile information and property values for the specified names where the application name matches the ApplicationName property value.

If your data source supports transactions, it is recommended that you include all delete operations in a transaction and that you roll back the transaction and throw an exception if any delete operation fails.

DeleteProfiles method

Takes as input a collection of ProfileInfo objects and deletes from the data source all profile information and property values for each profile where the application name matches the ApplicationName property value.

If your data source supports transactions, it is recommended that you include all delete operations in a transaction and roll back the transaction and throw an exception if any delete operation fails.

DeleteInactiveProfiles method

Takes as input a ProfileAuthenticationOption value and a DateTime object and deletes from the data source all profile information and property values where the last activity date is less than or equal to the specified date and time and where the application name matches the ApplicationName property value. The ProfileAuthenticationOption parameter specifies whether only anonymous profiles, only authenticated profiles, or all profiles are to be deleted.

If your data source supports transactions, it is recommended that you include all delete operations in a transaction and roll back the transaction and throw an exception if any delete operation fails.

GetAllProfiles method

Takes as input a ProfileAuthenticationOption value, an integer that specifies the page index, an integer that specifies the page size, and a reference to an integer that will be set to the total count of profiles. Returns a ProfileInfoCollection that contains ProfileInfo objects for all profiles in the data source where the application name matches the ApplicationName property value. The ProfileAuthenticationOption parameter specifies whether only anonymous profiles, only authenticated profiles, or all profiles are to be returned.

The results returned by the GetAllProfiles method are constrained by the page index and page size values. The page size value specifies the maximum number of ProfileInfo objects to return in the ProfileInfoCollection. The page index value specifies which page of results to return, where 1 identifies the first page. The parameter for total records is an out parameter (you can use ByRef in Visual Basic) that is set to the total number of profiles. For example, if the data store contains 13 profiles for the application and the page index value is 6 with a page size of 5, the ProfileInfoCollection returned contains the sixth through the tenth profiles. The total records value is set to 13 when the method returns.

GetAllInactiveProfiles method

Takes as input a ProfileAuthenticationOption value, a DateTime object, an integer that specifies the page index, an integer that specifies the page size, and a reference to an integer that will be set to the total count of profiles. Returns a ProfileInfoCollection that contains ProfileInfo objects for all profiles in the data source where the last activity date is less than or equal to the specified DateTime and where the application name matches the ApplicationName property value. The ProfileAuthenticationOption parameter specifies whether only anonymous profiles, only authenticated profiles, or all profiles are to be returned.

The results returned by the GetAllInactiveProfiles method are constrained by the page index and page size values. The page size value specifies the maximum number of ProfileInfo objects to return in the ProfileInfoCollection. The page index value specifies which page of results to return, where 1 identifies the first page. The parameter for total records is an out parameter (you can use ByRef in Visual Basic) that is set to the total number of profiles. For example, if the data store contains 13 profiles for the application and the page index value is 2 with a page size of 5, the ProfileInfoCollection returned contains the sixth through the tenth profiles. The total records value is set to 13 when the method returns.

FindProfilesByUserName method

Takes as input a ProfileAuthenticationOption value, a string containing a user name, an integer that specifies the page index, an integer that specifies the page size, and a reference to an integer that will be set to the total count of profiles. Returns a ProfileInfoCollection that contains ProfileInfo objects for all profiles in the data source where the user name matches the specified user name and where the application name matches the ApplicationName property value. The ProfileAuthenticationOption parameter specifies whether only anonymous profiles, only authenticated profiles, or all profiles are to be returned.

If your data source supports additional search capabilities, such as wildcard characters, you can provide more extensive search capabilities for user names.

The results returned by the FindProfilesByUserName method are constrained by the page index and page size values. The page size value specifies the maximum number of ProfileInfo objects to return in the ProfileInfoCollection. The page index value specifies which page of results to return, where 1 identifies the first page. The parameter for total records is an out parameter (you can use ByRef in Visual Basic) that is set to the total number of profiles. For example, if the data store contains 13 profiles for the application and the page index value is 2 with a page size of 5, the ProfileInfoCollection returned contains the sixth through the tenth profiles. The total records value is set to 13 when the method returns.

FindInactiveProfilesByUserName method

Takes as input a ProfileAuthenticationOption value, a string containing a user name, a DateTime object, an integer that specifies the page index, an integer that specifies the page size, and a reference to an integer that will be set to the total count of profiles. Returns a ProfileInfoCollection that contains ProfileInfo objects for all profiles in the data source where the user name matches the specified user name, where the last activity date is less than or equal to the specified DateTime, and where the application name matches the ApplicationName property value. The ProfileAuthenticationOption parameter specifies whether only anonymous profiles, only authenticated profiles, or all profiles are to be returned.

If your data source supports additional search capabilities, such as wildcard characters, you can provide more extensive search capabilities for user names.

The results returned by the FindInactiveProfilesByUserName method are constrained by the page index and page size values. The page size value specifies the maximum number of ProfileInfo objects to return in the ProfileInfoCollection. The page index value specifies which page of results to return, where 1 identifies the first page. The parameter for total records is an out parameter (you can use ByRef in Visual Basic) that is set to the total number of profiles. For example, if the data store contains 13 profiles for the application and the page index value is 2 with a page size of 5, the ProfileInfoCollection returned contains the sixth through the tenth profiles. The total records value is set to 13 when the method returns.

GetNumberOfInactiveProfiles method

Takes as input a ProfileAuthenticationOption value and a DateTime object and returns a count of all profiles in the data source where the last activity date is less than or equal to the specified DateTime and where the application name matches the ApplicationName property value. The ProfileAuthenticationOption parameter specifies whether only anonymous profiles, only authenticated profiles, or all profiles are to be counted.

Because profile providers store profile information separately for each application, you must ensure that your data schema includes the application name and that queries and updates also include the application name. For example, the following command is used to retrieve a property value from a database based on the user name and whether the profile is anonymous, and ensures that the ApplicationName value is included in the query.

SELECT Property FROM PropertyTable 
  WHERE Username = 'user1' AND IsAnonymous = False 
  AND ApplicationName = 'MyApplication'
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