Creating Personalized Websites

The simplest form of personalization is to record information about the user and then to make that information available whenever the user logs on. This requires a kind of persistence that goes beyond session state. To create true personalization, you’ll want to store the user’s choices and information in a database that associates the saved information with a particular user, and persists indefinitely. Fortunately, ASP.NET provides all of the plumbing required. You do not need to design, edit, or manage the database tables; all of that is done for you.

You saw in Chapter 12 that by default, ASP.NET relies on a database to store the information for a site’s users and the roles to which they belong. That same database is also used in part to support the personalization of a website in conjunction with some alterations to the site’s web.config file. In this chapter, you’ll use a copy of the site created in Chapter 12 as a basis for working with ASP.NET’s profile provider.


You can find instructions on how to generate the ASP.NET membership database for your website in “Setting Up Forms-Based Authentication” in Chapter 12.

So, then, to get started, copy the C12_Security website folder and all its contents to a new folder called C14_Personalization, and then open that website in Visual Studio 2008 (VS2008). Set Welcome.aspx as the start page and run the program to make sure you have a working duplicate.


Profiles are related to specific users and not to ...

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