Profile Concepts

Commerce Server 2002

Profiles are essential to Web site management because they provide information about the users who visit your Web site and how they use it. You use profiles to analyze user data and to target content to users.

A profile is a set of characteristics that define any business-related item, such as a user, a company, or a context (date and time). For example, a user profile might include characteristics such as first name, last name, city, gender, age, and e-mail address. A company profile might include different characteristics, such as the company name, contact, city, and e-mail address. A context profile might include characteristics such as the date and time when a page is displayed, and the path the user takes to get to that page.

The following figure shows different types of profiles.

A figure illustrating different types of profiles.

In Commerce Server, you use profiles to collect information about business-related items. For example, you use profiles to collect data from users on your Web site. You can also enter data directly into the user and organization profiles by using Business Desk.

Profile data is stored in the Profiles data store in Microsoft Active Directory, SQL Server, or both, or in any OLE DB-compliant data store. To manage the Profiles data store, you use the Profiles resource, which you access in Commerce Server Manager.

In Commerce Server 2002 Enterprise Edition, you can export data from the Profiles data store into the Data Warehouse, and then use Business Desk to analyze the profile data that is collected. To specify which profile data is to be exported to the Data Warehouse, you use the Business Desk Profiles modules.

Ee784108.note(en-US,CS.20).gif Note
  • Commerce Server does not include the Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Membership Directory. For information about migrating profile information from the Membership Directory to Commerce Server, see Upgrading from Site Server 3.0.

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