Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What are the differences between the taxonomy and term store features in SharePoint 2013 versus SharePoint 2010?"

SharePoint Managed Metadata Question of the Week Each week we will be featuring an audience question from WAND's recent webinar, "Managed Metadata 101: Taxonomies and Tagging in SharePoint," and sharing the answer with our blog audience.

This week's question is: "What are the differences between the taxonomy and term store features in SharePoint 2013 versus SharePoint 2010?"

Answer: SharePoint 2013 term store will have all of the features that the SharePoint 2010 term store has, so anybody using the 2010 term store will see a smooth transition to the 2013 term store.    The SharePoint 2013 term store, however, does include some significant enhancements to the way that you can use taxonomies. 

One particularly significant change is the SharePoint 2013 term store allows you to create a term set that can be used to as the navigation structure of your SharePoint site. What this means is that you can create a site taxonomy and then SharePoint will automatically create pages (with URLS that include the taxonomy terms) corresponding with the taxonomy you have created.  Thus, you are using the term store to control your site navigation.

Another change is the ability to manage query spelling correction in the SharePoint 2013 term store.  Terms that you enter in the Query spelling Inclusion List will be candidate terms to appear in “Did you Mean” when users are searching. So, if you add the word “Restaurant” to the Query Spelling Inclusion List, if a user searches for “Restrant”, the SharePoint search will offer a “Did you mean restaurants” result to the user.

The third big change is that SharePoint 2013 has the ability to do some custom entity extraction based on term sets.  This in many ways is a very lightweight version of automatic tagging, however there are heavy limitations in the types of rules that can be created.  Essentially, you can maintain a list of terms for which you want to do entity extraction and then map these custom entities to a refiner property.  Then, when content is indexed, any of these entities that match will be extracted and placed in the mapped managed property column and will show up as a custom refiner in search. This is best used for things like company name, people, or other well defined entities. It will not be very effective to classify a document to a business process, because of the limitations on the matching rules.

Finally, while not Term Store specific, many of the features of FAST search engine have been included in the SharePoint 2013 search so the overall search capability is substantially upgraded. While in SharePoint 2010, companies could either use SharePoint Enterprise search or upgrade to FAST search, for SharePoint 2013, the two have basically been combined and included out of the box.