Tuesday, October 25, 2016

SharePoint Hybrid Taxonomy Essentials

Synchronizing taxonomies between on-premise SharePoint and SharePoint Online has been a challenge for hybrid SharePoint users.  The inability to seamlessly move taxonomies from the SharePoint Online term store to the SharePoint on-prem term Store, and vice-versa, has made it hard to enforce tagging with consistent term sets.  Or, companies that have invested in taxonomy in an on-premise environment have been limited in moving to SharePoint Online because of this lack of support.

Despite the challenges, it’s incredibly important that term sets remain synchronized so that all content throughout an enterprise is tagged consistently with the same taxonomy terms.  Until now, the only solution has been third party add-ons or complex database operations.

If you have encountered this challenge, there is some great news:  Hybrid Taxonomy will be a key feature release of SharePoint 2016 Feature Pack 1.  It will also be included for SharePoint 2013 in the September '16 Cumulative Update for SharePoint. The main Term Store will be the Managed Metadata Service in SharePoint Online. So, when developing an enterprise taxonomy model for your company, the development should take place in SharePoint online.  Changes made in the SharePoint 
Online term store will automatically syndicate down to the on-premise term store, including retaining the same GUID for each term.

Three key things to remember when implementing Hybrid Managed Metadata and Taxonomy

  1. Hybrid Taxonomy for SharePoint will make it easy to synchronize your taxonomy term sets so both on premise and in the cloud SharePoint content will be tagged consistently
  2. Term sets that are currently in SharePoint on-premise environments can be migrated to SharePoint Online using a one-time administrative PowerShell script.
  3. The source taxonomy will live in SharePoint online.  On premise term stores will each connect to the SharePoint Online term store to access the taxonomies.  Each on-premise term store can choose which groups to subscribe to and these groups will be synchronized using the new Taxonomy Group Replication Timer Job.  
  4. Any pinned or re-used terms in your on-premise term store will need to be disconnected and reconnected within SharePoint Online before getting started
  5. Local term sets can be created as necessary in your on-premise term stores
Here are some more resources from Microsoft on this feature:



If you have not yet used the Managed Metadata Service or built a taxonomy, WAND has a General Business Taxonomy available as a free download for SharePoint users.  The WAND General Business Taxonomy can be imported directly into the SharePoint term store and includes a basic set of terms for HR, Sales and Marketing, Legal, IT, and Accounting and Finance.   It’s a great way to being to play with the SharePoint Term Store.


If you need more detailed term sets, WAND has developed a complete library of taxonomies covering nearly every industry vertical and business function.