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Using Site Columns to Successfully Reuse Terms in SharePoint 2010 to Support Planned Taxonomies

These comments apply to the remainder of a video training course on Taxonomy for SharePoint 2010, offered by Rehmani Consulting, Inc. on SharePoint-Videos dot com: “Integrating Taxonomies in SharePoint 2010 — Part One.” The author of this series, and a subject matter expert on this topic, is Mike Doane, principal at Term Management, LLC.

Mike Doane opens this section of the course with a question, “So how do you go about creating a custom column to use these term sets that you’re building out?” The video demonstrate how to set up a custom site column for one of the term sets already created in this course. The term set, itself, that is produced for this site column is, in itself, custom. Customizing this term set is achieved by selecting “managed metadata” for the site column, and, subsequently, “customize your term set.” By creating site columns and associating the columns with terms, then users are empowered to then proceed on tagging data in SharePoint 2010 to better expose the data to users who will use search tools to locate what they are after.

By selecting the option “edit with the term set manager” we can safely reuse terms from our example taxonomy to support the site column. It is also possible to create custom terms for site columns outside of the Term Store. Custom columns can then be assigned to specific document libraries. As we demonstrate, specific libraries can be selected, to which columns are then assigned. In fact, the custom meta data that we have just created can now be selected directly from the Term Store and assigned to site columns built to support specific document libraries.

Once the column has been built and associated with specific document libraries, then documents within respective libraries can be tagged. The process of tagging includes selecting specific documents, and, then, editing the properties for each document. The metadata add for the unique site column assigned to the parent document library for the document, appears as a selection within the document properties dialog box. Once the metadata has been selected, SharePoint serves a navigation pane (hierarchical) view of the parent and child terms to the user. Terms can be selected from this navigation pane view, which will then be added as tags for the associated document. Of course, the purpose of the whole process is to expose the document to users who will enter the tags associated with the document into search tools, and, thereby, locate what they are after.

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