Using the Term Store – Where the Heck Do I Start?
The Term Store has experienced a slow adoption rate. If you don’t invest in a tool to deal with content that is generated and ingested, the Term Store is the best thing available. To clarify, the Term Store is not a taxonomy and can’t be used in that way. But it is a method for using and managing your metadata.
If you are just getting started, the first thing is to define your ‘global’ metadata. That includes metadata that is understood and used by the entire enterprise. You may want to keep this metadata under your control. In fact, you may want to keep all metadata under your control. It’s up to you whether you give authority to designated end users. To get back to the point, now have your global metadata.
Now think about. It would be good if you were to ask department users to share which metadata is applicable to them. You would probably want to use the group feature, to ensure that others outside the department can’t alter departmental metadata. If you want, you can designate managers of the metadata for each of the groups, and give them authority to manage their own metadata. Regardless of designated stakeholders or owners, security is controlled at group level.
You can create hierarchies and place terms under each other. Use the KISS principle – keep it simple, stupid. Avoid creating convoluted and complicated hierarchies or maintenance of terms that will become frustrating activities. Don’t get carried away.
There are two term activities you should be aware of in your planning – reusing a term and pinning a term. When you reuse a term in your sites, the changes you make to the term can be seen across your entire SharePoint environment, wherever that term is reused. Pinning a term is like reusing a term, except that the term cannot be modified from the location where the term is reused. And the pinned terms are read-only. There is a great deal of information available online that explains this in detail.
All you need is a little bit of logic to map out which terms you need. Again, don’t get carried away. And remember to ask the different functional groups for input on the metadata that is unique to them. This also goes a long way in user adoption. If you are thinking about a metadata generation and auto-classification tool, check us out. Have you been using the Term Store? Has it been of value?
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