In the previous article, I have explained about permission settings available in SharePoint lists and libraries using which users can control the permission and security of the items. Now in this article, I am going to explain about Enterprise Metadata and Keyword Settings available with lists and libraries.
In this article, I am going to cover the following topics in details.
- Introduction to Enterprise Metadata and Keyword Settings
- Enabling Enterprise Metadata and Keyword Settings
- Using the Enterprise Metadata and Keyword Settings
- Benefits of using Enterprise Metadata and Keyword Settings
- Disabling Enterprise Metadata and Keyword Settings
Sometimes, we have to maintain some master data that can be used in every format. If you are writing an article in SharePoint blog site, then, in that case, every article will have some of the categories or some relevant tags. That tag must be unique and this tag will be useful in classifying the articles. Now consider a scenario where you have two site collections, Site Collection A and Site Collection B. The purpose of both the site collections is to contain the article, and every article must have unique tags so that we can identify the article based on the tags. Normally if we are in one site collection then in that case we can make a master list for tag and provide the lookup of that list to our article list (We will be covering lookup and how it works in the upcoming articles in this series, for now, consider lookup like the primary key in SQL that will be used in other lists to provide reference of one list to another). By making tag master list in both site collections we will increase the data redundancy. So it’s not a feasible solution. In order to solve this problem, SharePoint has very powerful and enterprise level solution called Enterprise Metadata and Keyword Settings. Let’s explore Enterprise Metadata and Keyword in detail.
Enterprise Metadata and Keyword is a type of column that can be assigned in lists or library to capture some relevant information regarding SharePoint lists or library items. For example, if you have a document library then, in that case, you might want to differentiate the type of documents based on some properties, same is the case with SharePoint lists. In today’s article, we will be using SharePoint custom list to demonstrate and understand the Enterprise Metadata and Keyword columns. The main advantage of having Enterprise Metadata and Keyword enabled to the lists is the keyword which we create that is managed tenant level in SharePoint Online. And if it’s SharePoint On-Premises environment then, in that case, it is maintained Web Application level.
When you enable Enterprise Metadata columns at lists or library then it allows you to type any text and it will auto-populate the already existing keywords as a fill-in dropdown and you can select any of the tags. If you do not select any predefined metadata and choose to create a new one, then just enter the new keyword. And when you will save the item the created keyword will be added into the Enterprise Metadata columns. So next time when you will enter a new item and you type a few letters in Enterprise Metadata column then the previous value will be now available. Let’s check in detail how to enable the Enterprise Metadata and Keyword for SharePoint list.
Enabling Enterprise Metadata and Keyword Setting
In order to demonstrate, I have created a new list with the name “Enterprise Metadata and Keyword Settings in Contoso Site Collection”. The list is specified as follow.
Follow the below steps to enable the Enterprise Metadata and Keyword Settings.
Open the list in which you want to enable the Enterprise Metadata feature. Then, click on setting gear icon and then click on List Settings, as shown in below figure.
Locate and click on “Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Setting” link available under “Permission and Management heading”.
This will open up the Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Setting Page. By default, this setting will be disabled for SharePoint Lists and Libraries. You have to manually enable it by checking on the checkbox that says “Add an Enterprise keywords column to this list and enable Keyword synchronization”.
Just check the checkbox and click on OK. Once you have clicked on OK, SharePoint will now enable the Enterprise Metadata and Keywords functionality to this list. When you enable this service, SharePoint will create a new column to the list with the name “Enterprise Keywords”. In my list, the column is now added as I have activated the Enterprise Metadata feature.
You can see that the type of the column is Managed Metadata. So it means that the information stored in this column will be directly managed and stored in the term store of the tenant in case of SharePoint Online (In the case of SharePoint On Premises it will be stored in the web application term store).
Using Enterprise Metadata and Keyword Settings in SharePoint lists
Now go to the list where we have enabled the Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings and try adding a new item to the list. You will now have a new column with name “Enterprise Keywords” and the column will suggest some of the predefined values that will be stored previously. In my case, I have already few items stored into the term store so here it is suggesting as autocomplete.
Now, let’s enter the new keyword in the Enterprise Keywords column. I am entering ‘New Keyword” in the column and saving the item.
Once you have stored the item, try to save one more item in the same list. At this time, you will have your previously entered “New Keyword” already in autocomplete drop-down.
So, in this way, the Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings work. This was the basic information regarding enterprise keyword. This keyword is used in fast content searches based on the keyword, it also allow us to organize our data in category wise.
If you want to see where your keywords are being stored, the please follow the below steps.
Open Site Setting of the site, and then click on “Term store management” under “Site Administration” heading.
Here you will find your newly added keyword under Keywords term set (we will be covering term set in an upcoming article in this series).
Benefit of using Enterprise Metadata and Keyword Settings
There are several benefits of using Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings in SharePoint. Such as:
The information is maintained tenant wise so you can use this information in any of the sites and any of the subsites throughout the tenant. We have enabled the Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings in Contoso Site collection. Now I have enabled the same setting in my another site collection named as “PSM”. There I have a document library and I have enabled the Enterprise Metadata and Keyword Setting in the document library and I am trying to update the properties of the document then we will find new columns as “Enterprise Keywords” and you can find the previous value “New Keyword” in the column as Auto Suggested.
This keyword can be used to filter the data by keyword. This will help you in organizing your data and in searching the SharePoint items or document by given keywords.
Disabling Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings
Now let’s assume that we have to disable this settings from any list or library. In order to disable this setting, a normal user will follow below steps.
Open the lists ⇒ List Settings ⇒ Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings.
From here, the user will try to unchecked the checkbox. But the checkbox is by default read only. User cannot unchecked the checkbox and this user will fail to disable this functionality.
So what is the correct way to disable the Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings from the lists? There is a trick. Please follow these steps to disable.
Open the list setting page as we have discussed earlier sections. Click on the “Enterprise Keywords” columns from the list as shown in the figure.
Once you will click on the column, it will open up edit column page. And then click on “Delete” button.
Once you have deleted this column, again open the list setting page and click on “Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings” link and now you will see that we have successfully disabled the settings. The option will be again Unchecked.
Although I have demonstrated using SharePoint custom list, it is same for the SharePoint libraries too.
In this article, we have explored the concept and usage of Enterprise Metadata and Keywords settings pages. We have also seen what Enterprise Keyword is, how we can use it, how we can enable it, also how we can disable it. Also, I have demonstrated the real word example of how we can make use of Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings.
In the next article, I am going to cover Information Management Policy settings.
Any question or feedback or suggestion, please do comment and let me know.