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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

What Is Managed Metadata?

Available only through Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Server (not SPF), managed metadata is a mechanism that enables administrators to create hierarchical term sets that can then be used in document libraries and lists as columns.

A term set is similar to a list that contains items, except that these items can contain more items under them in a hierarchy. For example, if you have a term set called Products, you could have a term for each product that you have in the organization.

By using managed metadata, you can create the list as a hierarchical list, grouping the products into categories (creating terms for the categories and then terms for the products under them) or into product groups, as shown in Figure 1.27.

Figure 1.27

Figure 1.27 A managed metadata list of products.

You can then choose whether the terms that are categories (and not products) are available to the users as options. You can therefore allow the users to tag a document as belonging to a category of products (for example, Books), or you can let them tag a document as belonging to a specific product (for example, SharePoint 2010 How To).

As you can see, managed metadata can be quite useful for tagging and then finding documents and list items. Chapter 7 describes how to create managed metadata columns and how to define term sets for those columns.

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