Friday, April 22, 2011

Managed Metadata Term Set Tools

One of the great new features of SharePoint 2010 is the new Managed Metadata service, which allows you to centrally manage your metadata. You can setup hierarchical terms in a variety of languages, and delegate the administration responsibility to end users such as Information Management staff or Records Managers.

Although it is easy enough to add individual terms, there are a variety of great tools that make it easy to create and upload entire term sets (the largest we have migrated so far is Medical Subject or MeSH data with about 16,000 hierarchical medical terms).

Here are some of the tools we use at StoneShare:

Excel Template with Macro

Wictor Wilen has created an Excel Template with a Macro to make it easy to populate SharePoint 2010 Term Sets.

I have uploaded the file to the Agora Development site under Shared Documents > Development Tools:

The instructions are located here:

Term Set Importer / Exporter

When uploading large term sets (such as the MeSH one we used for a client) you might get timeouts in Central Administration – this is because the out-of-the-box import tool uses a web interface). There is a great (FREE!) tool on CodePlex which uses a little desktop utility, and hence does not time out: 

Pre-Built Term Sets for Sale

Rather than going to the trouble of creating your own term sets, you can also purchase existing term sets from Data Facet. I haven’t yet used these so I can’t speak for them but this could be a good way to quick-start your managed metadata for a particular industry.

One advantage of this approach (apart from the time saved recreating these) is that you will be using the identical term set as other organizations, which may help with data portability. Whether this is your business requirement or not is an open question.

I hope these tools help!

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