Displaying User Profile photos in other places (with a little help)

Today I ran into a problem I didn't imagine still existed (in DNN v.7.2). I was using Ventrian Property Agent and I needed to display the profile photo of the user who made the submission inside the module's View Item template. I was surprised that neither Property Agent supported that, nor was there another way to get the user's profile image at a decent size inside the module's templates.


I'm sure that even if you aren't using this specific module, you've also ran into this issue one way or another. There is no decent built-in way to display a user's profile image outside of the user profile page itself.


In my case, there is a token Ventrian Property Agent users named [USERID] that provides the id of the user who has created the current entry. With only this in hand, I had to find a way to use it to get a decent profile picture.


First option would be to use the standard DNN /profilepic.ashx image handler, but this one returns distorted, grainy images of max 64x64 pixels. Using it like this: <img src="/profilepic.ashx?userid=[USERID]"> would give me a crappy image, but at least an image.


Two minutes before I was ready to give up, I ran into this gem: http://bbimagehandler.codeplex.com/ - this is a generic image handler that does a lot of things - resizing, watermarks, etc. but one interesting feature is that it can render DNN user profile images - in any dimension given, and with awesome quality compared to DNN's own profilepic.ashx.


Give it a try if you're facing the same problem. Have in mind that in order for DNN Profile Pictures to work, you'll HAVE to specify the "db" parameter as mentioned in the documentation. By specifying this parameter, it is implied that you have already updated your web.config file with this key:


<add key ="BBDatabase" value="Connectionstring=SiteSqlServer;table=MyImages;ImageField=ImageData;idField=ImageID" />


The trick is that you only need the first part if you only need BBImageHandler to handle profile images, since it already knows what tables and fields to use. So you can use this version:


<add key ="BBDatabase" value ="Connectionstring=SiteSqlServer;" />


Where "SiteSqlServer" is your connection string's name (in case you have renamed it from the default name DNN gives it).


This way, it is only enough to know the user id whose profile image you need to show - In my case, as I said above, I had the [USERID] token, so my code was as follows:


<img src="/bbimagehandler.ashx?db=BBDatabase&userid=[USERID]&portalid=0&width=300">


And voila! A profile image with a 300px width inside a Property Agent Template! (I'm thinking of even using it inside the user profile page itself).


Until next time!


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