In order to build a useful search feature for SharePoint Server 2010, keywords must be consistently used across a SharePoint site and sub sites. Site Columns provide us with a means of enforcing some uniformity over the method by which text information is organized into terms and groups of related text information into term sets. A Technet article, “Managed Metadata Overview” provides us with a definition of terms and term sets that we think is essential for understanding the roles played by columns and site columns: “[a] term is a word or a phrase that can be associated with an item in SharePoint Server 2010. A term set is a collection of related terms. You can specify that a Microsoft SharePoint Server column must contain a term from a specific term set.” An entry to MSDN defines site columns in SharePoint Server 2010: “A site column is a reusable column definition, or template, that you can assign to multiple lists across multiple SharePoint sites. Site columns decrease re-work and help you ensure consistency of metadata across sites and lists. For example, suppose you define a site column named Customer. Users can add that column to their lists, and reference it in their content types. This ensures that the column has the same attributes, at least to start with, wherever it appears. Much like site content types, you define a site column at the site level, independent of any actual list or content type.”
One can readily see why managing site columns is an important task for SharePoint Server 2010. In fact, site columns offer SharePoint users the ability to ensure that terms, and term sets (meta data) are consistently used across a SharePoint web site and sub sites. Consistent use of information generally results in highly relevant search. As well, the likelihood of attaining an objective of collecting useful metrics for Business Intelligence (BI) analysis is substantially improved when meta data is uniform across SharePoint Server 2010 web sites and sub sites.
In sum, site columns may well be an important feature of SharePoint Server 2010. Accordingly, we have produced a video tutorial on site columns for SharePoint Server 2010. The intended audience for this video tutorial includes SharePoint administrators, site collection administrators as well as developers and architects with appropriate permissions to work at the site level, specifically with site actions. Our video tutorial demonstrates how to create site columns and group them with related information at both the top site level and at a sub site level. Further, we demonstrate how to use site columns as lists are created and/or modified.
If you would like to speak with us about terms, term sets, meta data & taxonomy and the range of video tutorials that we offer on this important set of functions, then please contact us at (630) 786-7026, or Contact Us to further a discussion about our video training content.
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