Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by Office 365 MVP Myles Jeffery as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office 365" series. Myles is the owner of
Thinkscape, a product development company and early adopter of Microsoft cloud.
Myles contributes to the community through the Microsoft SharePoint Online
forum, presenting at Microsoft cloud events and through his blog http://mcgeeky.blogspot.com/
is busy managing the development of migration tools and business productivity
solutions in readiness for Office 365 GA.
Organize Your Information Better in SharePoint Online Office 365 with Managed Metadata
SharePoint Online Office 365 brings a host of new features. The one I’d like to highlight is managed metadata. Managed metadata is “a hierarchical collection of centrally managed terms that you can define, and then use as attributes for items in SharePoint Online”.
Managed metadata is an exciting way to categorise and discover information. I can see this helping a lot of businesses work more efficiently with information.
Let’s take a look at an example. I recently purchased a new laptop. I did my research in-store; the kinds of things that were important to me were price (of course), processor, memory, screen size, manufacturer… and colour! Those attributes are just the kind of thing that works well for managed metadata.
That gave me the idea for the scenario for this article; I am a retailer of computer hardware and need a means to classify our laptop product description documents in SharePoint Online. I choose managed metadata to do this. This will give me uniformity over the classification terms and ease of finding the documents. Here’s how to do it.
I’ll create the terms first. To do that, I go to the SharePoint Online administration centre and select Term Store: terms are how we classify information. SharePoint Online gives me an easy to use interface to create my terms. Here’s how I created mine, you can see how the terms are hierarchical in nature:
These terms are now available to all my site collections. Next, using the SharePoint Online administration console, I create a new site collection. I select the Document Centre template.
The Document Center template creates a document library for me as standard called Documents. For each of the term sets (manufacturer, screen size, processor etc.) I added a new column to the Documents library, set the column data type to managed metadata and selected the appropriate term set in my term store. This is a screenshot when I set up the Manufacturer column, I chose the Manufacturer term set: