Is it possible to only allow certain values through dropdowns rather than free text when people edit their profile? For instance to limit choice of company, organisation, county or location.

I want to show a 'friendly' name but store the actual value in sharepoint/active directory. Source of names/values could be a list or a database.

If not out of the box, is there a page/control I could edit then it could be possible to add this functionality via JavaScript/jQuery.

Update (14 Oct 2010):
I have looked at term store, however it does not show as an option when the type is set to string (Single Value). Also, if you can't use a dropdown, how can you restrict what the user enters? This is important as spelling mistakes can be made when users type and I want to prevent this happening. Hence why I was wondering which master page or control (in the 14 hive I presume) I need to edit to work around this (e.g. replacing the text box with a dropdown via JavaScript).

As well as that, when I do edit a property that allows a term set to be selected, the dropdown just has 'Wiki Categories' in it, repeated about 10 times, but does not appear when I look at the term set. I am a farm administrator, yet can't do anything with the term sets, even after adding myself as an administrator for the Managed Metadata Service application.

2 Answers 2


There is not "value" versus "display name" option. Your best bet would be to use the Termstore to provide the lookup/dropdown functionality. Here is a write-up I did on creating a custom property that uses the Term Store: http://nextconnect.blogspot.com/2010/06/user-profiles-creating-custom.html


+1 to Mikes suggestion on using term store for this.

For completeness: As an alternative, for example if data should be readily available in an external application, you could use Business Connectivity Service (BCS or formerly BDC just to add to the confusion;-) as a secondary data source for your profiles.

Your data could then be stored in an external database, for example a xRM or ERP system.

To match the two data sources (AD and external DB) you need some unique ID (eg. initials or email).

  • Great call. BCS/BDC is critical for profiles. Oct 13, 2010 at 22:50

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