When creating a User Profile service application, there are three databases offered for storing that information in SharePoint Server:
- Profile Database Storing user profile information
- Synchronization Database – Storing configuration and staging information for the profile data from external sources including AD DS.
- Social Tagging Database Storing social tags & notes created by users. Each of them is associated with a specific profile ID.
All three of these databases can be accessed by Team Sites, My Sites, and other sites within SharePoint. Access points depend on the User Profile service application so that they can have a personalized experience.
There are other relating service applications in place that the User Profile service application relies upon. This allows for the full range of social computing features that are offered from SharePoint Sever to be accessible. There are several related service applications offered including:
- Manage Metadata Service This allows for managing metadata and share content types to occur. It can be done across web applications and site collections.
- Search Service Application This is necessary for the people search to be enabled so that a user can gather more information.
- Business Connectivity Services This allows for populating properties of existing user profiles from a business system through profile synchronization.