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It Makes Sense to Build a Governance Policy for Taxonomies in SharePoint 2010

Organizations that opt to implement taxonomy as a method of organizing text data stored in SharePoint 2010 should produce a governance policy for taxonomy, itself. In all likelihood, the Term Store Management Tool that is provided with SharePoint 2010 will be used to build, manage, modify and othewise work with term groups, and terms for the taxonomy. The unique capabilities of the tool are such that a governance policy ought to be built to ensure adherence with approved procedures, while protecting the taxonomy from any procedures lacking approval.

In a video titled Building Taxonomies in SharePoint 2010 – Part Two, Mike Doane demonstrates how the Term Store Management Tool that is included with SharePoint Server 2010 can be used to work with term sets, and/or parent or child terms while building taxonomies. A subscription to our web site is required to view this video course. Alternatively, a DVD can be purchased with taxonomy training content that includes this course. Either an individual or an enterprise license must be purchased for this training DVD.

As our training video demonstrates, the Term Store Management Tool provided with SharePoint 2010 can be used to work with the terms that make up taxonomies. The range of term functions include:

  • Creating a term
  • Deleting terms
  • Copying terms
  • Reusing terms
  • Merging terms
  • Deprecating terms, and, finally,
  • Moving terms

In our video course on this topic, Mike Doane works with a term group “animals”. He shows how under the term group “animals” we have a term set called “animals”
as well as two terms, one “cats” and one “dogs”. Under the parent term “cats”child terms “abyssinian” (a type of species of cat), “calico” and, finally, “rag doll” have been added.

This course demonstrate how to use the Properties box to either expose a term for tagging, or not. Once this setting for tagging has been made, then the navigation diagram that runs vertically on the left hand side of the Term Store Management Tool (hereafter referred to as the “pane”) will either display the term as available when tagging has been enabled (in other words, in bold dark print), or as unavailable for the same activity (in other words, greyed out)

From the vertical navigation pane child terms can be simply added by right clicking on the top term and then selecting “create a term”. Once a term is created (in the case of our video the new child term is “maltese”) we demonstrate how to add a description of the term; how to create a default label; and, finally, how to create synonyms for the default label.

The Term Store Management tool also displays another characteristic of the term within the Properties box–“member of” which is automatically populated with the name of the parent term. This “member of” field lists the term group (“term set”) name, a description of the term group, and the parent term, itself. A radio button is provided for showing, as on/off, whether a parent term is a “source” term, or not. Finally, this “member of” box includes the name of the owner of the term group (which gets us back to governance).

Deleting a term is a simple process of right clicking on a term and selecting “delete.” The “are you sure” warning prompt that is served up once “delete” is selected as the desired action alerts the user that any/all terms BELOW the term selected for deletion will be deleted, as well. It is important to note that any child terms that have been reused elsewhere will be placed in an “orphaned” terms section, should the user opt to proceed with deleting the selected term.

As we mentioned above, it makes complete sense for organizations opting to implement taxonomy to outfit the process with a specific governance plan. As can be seen from a simple review of the capabilities granted to users authorized to use the Term Store Management Tool, considerable important information can be simply added or removed from a taxonomy with merely a few clicks of a mouse. Therefore, it makes complete sense to manage the action of creating, or deleting terms with a clear governance plan.

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