Taxonomy for SharePoint

Taxonomy for SharePoint can help you take advantage of the managed metadata service and improve search and content organization in your SharePoint implementation. 

 

 

 


SharePoint supports taxonomy via the Managed Metadata Service and SharePoint Taxonomy Term Store. The Managed Metadata Service allows an organization to define and syndicate a taxonomy, or term set, across the entire SharePoint farm. Metadata tagging, search refiners, workflows, and social features all rely on taxonomies and managed metadata in SharePoint.

 

Managing Terms in the SharePoint Taxonomy Term Store

Microsoft SharePoint Term Store - Managing Term Sets

 

 

Importing

Taxonomies can be imported into the SharePoint term store using the standard SharePoint CSV format. The SharePoint Term Store taxonomy import does not support synonyms, so those need to be entered manually using the Term Store Interface.

 

Editing

In the SharePoint Term Store, taxonomies are referred to as Term Sets. Term Sets can be edited via the SharePoint Term Store. The Term Store was first introduced in SharePoint 2010 and has continued as a key feature in SharePoint 2013, Sharepoint 2016, SharePoint 2019, and SharePoint Online via O365. You can learn the basics of how to use the SharePoint term store in the WAND Webinar Managed Metadata 101: Taxonomy and Tagging in SharePoint.

 

Taxonomy features which the SharePoint Term Store supports include:
 

  • Broader term and narrower term relationships
  • Alternate Labels/Synonyms
  • Multi-lingual translations
  • Term descriptions
  • Custom metadata associated with each term  

 

Question

 

Where is the managed metadata service and the term store set up in SharePoint? e.g. farm level, site level?  

Answer

 

The managed metadata service, and thus the term store, is configured at the farm level. Term sets created in the term store at the global level can be used by any site collection. These are called global term sets.

You can also set up local term sets at the site collection level which are only accessible within that site. Site level term sets will show up in a specific site collection term group when you access the Term Store via site settings, as shown in the red circle in the screenshot below. If you access the term store via central administration, you will not see the site collection specific term sets. So, to summarize, local term sets are only available within the site collection they were created in.  

 

Question

Can Synonyms be imported into the SharePoint Term Store?

 

Answer

The SharePoint term store CSV import format does not allow you to import synonyms.

A workaround for this can be to add synonyms next to the term name in the import file. Then, after you have imported the file, you can simply cut and paste the synonyms from the term name over to the Other Label field in SharePoint. While this is not ideal, it may be easier than manually typing in each synonym. Some third-party add-ons have their own import format which do allow for import of synonyms into the term store.

 

Question

Is it possible to export term sets from the term store in SharePoint 2013?

 

Answer

Without any add-ons, it is not possible to export term sets directly from the term store in any version of SharePoint.  

However, by using PowerShell, term sets can be exported.  This is valuable for migrating term sets between different SharePoint environments. Click here to read an MSDN article describing how to user PowerShell to export term sets from the term store.  

As a general best practice, once a taxonomy is imported into the term store, any day to day management of the taxonomy should be done in the term store.  You should not plan to export the taxonomy from the term store for purposes of making edits.

 

Question

What are the differences between the term stores in SharePoint 2010 vs SharePoint 2013?

 

Answer

All of the capabilities for taxonomy and managed metadata in SharePoint 2010 are also in SharePoint 2013 along with some new features in SharePoint 2013. WAND outlines the new features of the SharePoint 2013 term store in a guest post on the Microsoft SharePoint team blog at: 

http://blogs.office.com/b/sharepoint/archive/2013/09/04/the-improved-managed-metadata-service-in-sharepoint-2013.aspx

 

Question

Is it best practice to use taxonomies (managed metadata) for all list or document columns or are there situations where using a taxonomy is not best practice?

 

Answer

In general, using taxonomies is a best practice for managing potential values for metadata columns. However, using a taxonomy would not be advisable in situations where:

1) The potential values for the column are infinite
2) The potential values for the column are yes or no

There is an explanation on planning metadata and term set at Microsoft TechNet that covers this topic in greater depth at: 

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee519604(v=office.15).aspx

 

Question

What level of SharePoint permissions do individuals need to have in order to be added as term store administrators or group managers? Do they need to have access to Central Administration?

 

 

Answer

The term store can be accessed via central administration but it can also be accessed via site settings so a group manager does not necessarily need to have Central Administration access.

Question

What are the rules regarding what characters can be used - are they the same as SharePoint?

 

Answer

The name of a term cannot contain any of the following characters: “ ; < > | or Tab