I'll tell you the plugin I'm thinking about in a moment, but my question is more generic than this specific plugin.
I've been testing a plugin that helps add more user info to WordPress and allows me to use WordPress as a membership directory. The plugin works perfectly fine for me but I'm concerned about LONG term stability of my data.
This plugin created a new database table to store the data and it pulls the data from this new database table. Again, this plugin is working great for me... but what if it stops working a year from now, or five years from now. In the future, what if WordPress upgrades 10 times and somewhere along the way this plugin stopped keeping up with the updates and stopped working. I have no idea how to get my data out of those tables so I'd pretty much be out of luck.
Since longterm stability of my data is my number one concern, should I avoid putting all my eggs in one basket by depending on a plugin - any plugin - to access and update that data? I'd just like some other opinions on whether I'm being paranoid about this or if you agree that it would be a safer longterm solution to look for a non-plugin-dependent way to keep my extra data?
P.S. The plugin I'm currently using is CIMY User Extra Fields. It's worked perfectly for me and I like it a lot, but how safe will my data be if it doesn't work 10 years from now? I'm sure the data will stil be in there but I wouldn't have a clue as to how to use it if the plugin stopped working.