Tuesday, January 05, 2010

SharePoint Managed Metadata Administrator Experience

This post is part three 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)

As a SharePoint administrator, the first step when using the new EMM features is to learn how to use SharePoint Term Stores and research the details for creating a SharePoint Taxonomy Hierarchy. You’ll also want to read Microsoft’s best practices and make use of the managed metadata planning data sheets. You can find those links at the bottom of my post SharePoint Taxonomy Part One – Introduction to SharePoint Managed Metadata.

After you have got your term store set up and you’ve decided how your taxonomy will be organized, you’ll need to set the permissions on your term store and enable various content for tagging. Remember that there are two types of tagging: managed keywords and managed metadata. Managed keywords are used for informal “folksonomy” style tagging and managed terms are used for centrally controlled and delegated hierarchical term structures.

How to Enable Managed Metadata on Your Server

Step 1: Add an administrator to your term store.
I covered this process in Using SharePoint Term Stores.

Step 2. Create some terms.
I covered the details of this topic in SharePoint Taxonomy Hierarchy.

Step 3. Add a column of type “Managed Metadata”
I’m not sure if this will be the case when the RTM version of SharePoint 2010 ships, but despite the fact that the documentation suggests that many content types (inc. document) come with a managed metadata column for tagging, I have found that this column only works for keywords—not for managed terms. In Beta 2, the column that comes with a document library is called “Managed Keywords” and has the internal name “TaxKeyword.”

To use managed terms, I had to add a new column to my document libraries. To do this, first go to the list you want to enable and choose the Library tab from the ribbon, then Library Settings from the Settings area. Once there, choose Create Column.

- Adding a new column to a list

When the Create Column dialog opens, choose the Managed Metadata column type and give it a name. You’ll also be able to choose options such as whether you want to allow multiple values.

image - Use the Managed Metadata column type for managed terms

After adding this column, you should be able to edit the properties of a document in the document library and see a new option to choose managed terms to put into the new managed metadata field. Click on the little tags icon on the right of the field to browse your term store.

- After adding the managed metadata column, terms can be associated with the document

Promoting a Managed Keyword to a Managed Term

One philosophy for building a taxonomy is to let the users decide which terms are important. In SharePoint 2010, there are two ways to achieve this. First, you can allow “fill-in” keywords in your term sets. Secondly, you can allow users to tag with managed keywords and then choose to promote some (or all) of them to managed terms.

To change a managed keyword to a managed term, you simply open the term store management tool (from central admin or site settings) and use the "Move” option to move the keyword into the term hierarchy.

- Moving a keyword to the term store will convert it to a managed term

Note: It is not possible to move a managed term to the keywords store. In other words, you can promote a managed keyword to a managed term, but you can’t demote a term to a keyword.


A polyhierarchy enabled tree can include leaves (nodes) that have more than one branch (parent node). In SharePoint Server 2010, you can create a polyhierarchical structure with the Reuse Terms action in the Term Store Management Tool.

This example doesn’t really make sense, but let’s just imagine that I had used terms that weren’t as regimented as a geography. Say, for example, I had used people instead and the Term Sets defined teams to which they belong. In that case, a person could be on more than one team and therefore, you might want to reuse the term. For simplicity, the screen below shows the same hierarchy used in my other examples, but the Cairo term has been reused and it now appears in two different locations in the tree hierarchy.


- An example of polyhierarchy

If you look at the properties of the term (see screen below), you can see that it now belongs to two term sets.


More Notes about EMM Administration

- When you create a new term store, make sure the application pool is running.
- the Term Store Management Tool (TSMT) is available in Central Administration (and site settings). This tool manages terms centrally for the whole farm and can be used to create, copy, reuse, move, duplicate (for polyhierarchy), deprecate, delete and merge terms. The TSMT is also used to manage permissions on term stores.

- Term management options

- The Managed Metadata column can allow multiple values.
- All managed keywords are stored in a single non-hierarchical term set called the keyword set.
- Site collections can optionally use their own term sets at the column level rather than use the central term store.
- You can enable fill-in choices with a submission policy, this enables folksonomy.
- Multilingual (MUI) terms are available.
- Terms can be labelled to create synonyms that help users figure out which term to use.

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


Unknown said...

I have a SP2010 list with a Managed MetaData column in it. All is working fine however, when you view the list only site collection admins can see the metadata listed in the column, all other users see a blank column. All users are able to filter by that column though. Has anyone seen this behaviour before?



Stephen Cawood said...

I haven't seen it, but I'd first try giving a user explicit rights to the term store and see what happens. e.g., term set manager or something like that.

One of the taxonomy devs is really good about responding to questions in the SharePoint 2010 forums, so I'd post the question there as well: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sharepoint2010customization/threads

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,

Did you ever get a solution to this issue? I've recently seen the same thing and I'd love to know if you ever got to the bottom of it.

Best Wishes


Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I am having the same issue as Tony and Mark... I'd be very curious to know what the cause is.


Unknown said...

Any luck finding a solution for this issue?

Anonymous said...

Still no solution?

Matt said...

A few years later and I was running into this same issue. After a few Google searches I found the answer. Hope it helps anyone else: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/johnlee/archive/2010/10/07/managed-metadata-column-values-not-visible.aspx

Matt said...

A few years later and I was struggling with this same issue. After a few Google searches I found the answer. Hope it helps anyone else: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/johnlee/archive/2010/10/07/managed-metadata-column-values-not-visible.aspx