Earlier I posted about wanting to put personalization on a separate SQL instance (not local). Well, this gives me a chance to say thanks to the MSDN2 team for making more information available in .NET 2.0. I was a little worried during the BETA because of so many empty pages but MSDN is loaded with good information and plenty of walkthroughs! There is even a MSDN WIKI found here . OK here is the answer I promised:
Personalized settings are not tied to a single browser session. Because they are stored in long-term storage, the application can retrieve a user’s settings each time the user visits a specific page.
Personalization uses an ASP.NET application services database to store personalization data. By default, ASP.NET creates this database automatically in a subfolder named “app_data” when an ASP.NET application first uses personalization or one of the other application services such as roles, membership or profiles. Also by default, ASP.NET creates the database as a single SQL Server Express database file that contains the database schema for all of the application services. Using the Web.config file, you can configure your application so that a separate database file is created for personalization. Further, in the Web.config file, you can specify a SQL Server database to store the application services data instead of using the default SQL Server Express database file.
The mechanism for storing and retrieving personalization data consists of a provider component and a data store. ASP.NET includes a default Microsoft SQL provider and database. You can also create a custom provider and configure it to use any data store. (THANK GOD! gotta love the new provider model)
essentially this is the web.config section you need under <system.web>
(the MSDN entry is here for the element)
<remove name=“AspNetSqlPersonalizationProvider“ />
<add connectionStringName=“my_connection_string” name=“AspNetSqlPersonalizationProvider“
Some of this was information was found in a really good article on personalization here .