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Configure a user profile service

This topic describes how to set up a custom User Profile Service or use the default for the Optimizely Swift SDK.

Use a User Profile Service to persist information about your users and ensure variation assignments are sticky. For example, if you are working on a backend website, you can create an implementation that reads and saves user profiles from a Redis or memcached store.

The Swift SDK defaults to a User Profile Service that stores this state directly on the device. See the Swift SDK User Profile Service.

Use manager.userProfileService.lookup to read a customer’s user profile.

If the User Profile Service doesn't bucket a user as you expect, then check whether other features are overriding the bucketing. For more information, see How bucketing works.

Implement a service

If you want to implement a custom User Profile Service rather than using the default service provided by the Swift SDK, then refer to the code samples below. The service should expose two functions with the following signatures:

  • lookup: Takes a user ID string and returns a user profile matching the schema below.
  • save: Takes a user profile and persists it.

If you want to use the User Profile Service purely for tracking purposes and not sticky bucketing, you can implement only the save method (always return nil from lookup).

class CustomUserProfileService: OPTUserProfileService {
    required init() {}

    func lookup(userId: String) -> UPProfile? {
        // Retrieve and return user profile
        // Replace with userprofile variable
        return nil
    open func save(userProfile: UPProfile) {
        // save user profile

let userProfileService = CustomUserProfileService()

let optimizely = OptimizelyClient(sdkKey: sdkKey,
                              userProfileService: userProfileService)

The code example below shows the JSON schema for the user profile object.

Use experiment_bucket_map to override the default bucketing behavior and define an alternate experiment variation for a given user. For each experiment that you want to override, add an object to the map. Use the experiment ID as the key and include a variation_id property that specifies the desired variation. If there isn't an entry for an experiment, then the default bucketing behavior persists.

In the example below, ^[a-zA-Z0-9]+$ is the experiment ID.

  "title": "UserProfile",
  "type": "object",
  "properties": {
    "user_id": {"type": "string"},
    "experiment_bucket_map": {"type": "object",
                              "patternProperties": {
                                 "^[a-zA-Z0-9]+$": {"type": "object",
                                                    "properties": {"variation_id": {"type":"string"}},
                                                    "required": ["variation_id"]}
  "required": ["user_id", "experiment_bucket_map"]

The Swift SDK uses the User Profile Service you provide to override Optimizely's default bucketing behavior in cases when an experiment assignment has been saved. The User Profile Service will persist variation assignments across app updates. However, the User Profile Service will not persist variation assignments across app re-installs.

When implementing your own User Profile Service, we recommend loading the user profiles into the User Profile Service on initialization and avoiding performing expensive, blocking lookups on the lookup function to minimize the performance impact of incorporating the service.

When implementing in a multi-server or stateless environment, we suggest using this interface with a backend like Cassandra or Redis. You can decide how long you want to keep your sticky bucketing around by configuring these services.