Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports two types of memberships: Distribution List (DL) memberships, and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site memberships. DL membership information is obtained from the Active Directory directory service, and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site membership information is obtained by pulling membership information from SharePoint sites. A user's Profile page displays the user's memberships, as well as memberships the user and the viewing user have in common, among other information.
The User Profiles object model adds classes and methods to support the new Memberships feature. The new classes and methods in the User Profiles object model support the following operations:
Retrieve user's memberships
Set user's membership privacy settings
Get common membership between two users
Enumerate member groups
Extend new membership type, and allow you to add new memberships through the object model
The Membership object is a first-class object in the User Profiles object model. You can get to the memberships from the UserProfile object.
The MemberGroup object defines a DL or a SharePoint site or any other new member group that you create using the object model. It defines a URL property, which represents the archive location (the mailto: link) in the case of a DL, or a Windows SharePoint Services site URL, in the case of the MemberGroup object that represents a SharePoint site. The SourceReference property returns the DirectoryEntry of the DL from the Active Directory, or the SPWeb or SPSite object, depending on the MemberGroup.
The UserProfileManager class adds methods to return member group definitions and create new membership types.