I am trying to update the Manager and Profile Picture properties for the UPS from SQL. The problem is that these two fields are stored as text in SQL but SharePoint expects a Person field and URL respectively. Has anyone been able to find a workaround to this?
As Thomas indicates this is commonly done either by Creating a connection that imports the data from a BCS connection tied to a foriegn key like email address or account name. If coding is you thing you can use the SharePoint Object model to update the User Profile Properties my instantiating a UserProfileManager and then setting the properties. Either way you should never (ever) go directly to the SQL database.