The composite repository features included with the Personalization module allow you to set up a profile repository that integrates information from various data sources, for example one or more SQL databases and an LDAP directory. The composite repository consolidates these data sources into a flexible, top-level data layer, allowing you to change or make additions to the data underneath without restructuring the entire profile repository. Web applications that use this data model are easier to maintain than others with a more rigid structure, and they can also be written more quickly – for example, you can create a simple Web site for a company that has a tight deadline for launching its online business, and then you can add data sources later without disturbing the data model.

In addition to its flexibility, the composite repository provides the following benefits over using a single-source profile repository:

Even if the site you are building currently uses only one type of data source, you may want to set up and use a composite repository to manage all profile data so that you can easily add data from other sources in the future.

This chapter describes how to set up a composite repository specifically for use as a profile repository. For a more comprehensive discussion of composite repositories, including information on basic concepts and architecture, refer to the Composite Repositories chapter in the ATG Repository Guide.