Thursday, January 07, 2010

SharePoint Managed Metadata End-User Experience

This post is part two in a series that I’m writing about SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Managed Metadata (EMM or ‘taxonomy’). If you haven’t set up a SharePoint 2010 development environment yet, you may also want to check out SharePoint 2010 Beta 2 install.

SharePoint Taxonomy Part One – Introduction to SharePoint Managed Metadata
SharePoint Taxonomy Part Two – End-User Experience
SharePoint Taxonomy Part Three – Administrator Experience
(including Using SharePoint Term Stores and SharePoint Taxonomy Hierarchy)
SharePoint Taxonomy Part Four – Developer Experience
(including SharePoint 2010 Visual Web Parts and SharePoint 2010 Taxonomy Reference Issues)

There are two types of tags in the new SharePoint 2010 taxonomy system: managed keywords and managed terms. I’ll cover each one and give example of how users can take advantage of the various features that each type enables.

Managed Keywords

Keywords are used to informally tag content within SharePoint. Instead of relying on a centrally managed store of terms that they must choose from, keywords allow users to add their own tags. This means that faculties such as folksonomy and informal tag clouds are enabled.

Note: Managed keywords are stored in a separate single database and do not have a hierarchical structure.

To add a managed term to a document, first select the document in the document library and select Edit Properties.

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- Selecting a document for editing

Once you have the edit document properties dialog open, find the Managed Keywords field and you can either start typing an existing keyword (which will prompt you with suggestions) or you can type in a new keyword.

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- Adding a keyword to a document

The Tag Cloud Web Part

Once you’ve begun tagging things, you’ll probably want to be able to use that data in convenient ways. The tag cloud web part is a quick way to get a sense of the folksonomy being created on your SharePoint server.

If you have sufficient permissions to create a web part page and add web parts, you’ll be able to add the tag cloud web part to web part pages.

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- Adding the tag cloud web part to a page

Once added, there are a number of options in the tag cloud settings.

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- A tag cloud web part in edit page mode

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- A tag cloud web part in published mode

Note: A lot of features aren’t activated at the site collection level by default. Activating the “SharePoint Server Standard” feature enables the Tag Cloud web part. If you find that you’re not offered the Tag Cloud web part, ask your SharePoint admin to investigate.

Managed Terms

Managed terms are placed in a central repository of terms. This enables consistency across users, provides hierarchical organization, and allows for strict information architecture. In the SharePoint Term Store Management Tool, users with sufficient permissions are be able to perform many operations on terms in the hierarchy. However, most users will simply use the terms from the central store.

As with keywords, terms can be added to many types of content within SharePoint. This example, will show how to add a term to a document within a document library that has already been enabled for tagging with terms. For more information about enabling a SharePoint 2010 Beta 2 document for tagging with managed terms, refer to SharePoint Taxonomy Part Three – Administrator Experience.

To add a managed term to a document, first select the document in the document library and select Edit Properties. Once you have the edit document properties dialog open, find the managed metadata field and you can either start typing a term or click the “Browse for a valid choice” icon on the right.

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- Browsing for a term to add to a document

The screenshot below shows the suggest as you type feature which will show terms that match your partial input. Also, in the box below, you can see the labels (synonyms) and the description which helps users understand how different tags should be used.

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Metadata-driven Navigation

Managed Metadata can also be used to enable some cool navigational features within SharePoint 2010. For example, if you go to a list that has a managed metadata column, you’ll be able to filter the view by simply selecting one of the terms being used in the list. This enables the end-user to instantly filter lists without having to create a custom view.

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- Filtering a document library using the Managed Metadata term “Cape Town”

Once you apply the filter, the column heading will show a funnel icon to indicate that you’re not seeing the full list. This essentially allows you to see SharePoint through a simple parametric navigation mechanism—or as we used to say on the SharePoint team, “navigation goggles.”

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- The filtered results

Happy tagging!

[Disclaimer: This information is based on SharePoint 2010 Beta 2 and may differ from the RTM build.]

2 comments:

Pablo Colaiacovo said...

I can't find the Tag Cloud webpart because I don't have the Navigation folder in my options. Do I need to activate a feature in order to make that webpart available?

Thanks for the post!

Pablo Colaiacovo said...

Hi! Do I need to activate any feature in order to have the tagcloud webpart available? Because I've the Sharepoint Server Standard feature activated and I don't have the webpart available.
Thanks for the post!