This month marks the end of our second year of providing a ridiculous amount of information about an extremely narrow subject to a very limited number of people – making us unquestionably the number one island-themed SharePoint Records and Information Management blog on the internet. We just want to take a brief moment to wish ourselves a happy birthday and thank you all for following along.
September 14, 2010
September 9, 2010
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Without question, one of the most important new SharePoint 2010 features is ‘managed metadata’. This is certainly true for SharePoint-based Records Management, but also true for Enterprise Content Management, Information Lifecycle Management and search optimization, as well.
Microsoft defines managed metadata as ‘a hierarchical collection of centrally managed terms that you can define and then use as attributes for items in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.’
To better understand what Microsoft means, let’s break this definition down. ‘Terms’ are words or phrases that can be associated with items – such as documents and records – in SharePoint. There are two basic types of terms in SharePoint 2010, Managed Terms and Enterprise Keywords. Enterprise Keywords are simply words or phrases that have been added to SharePoint items over time. Enterprise Keywords are most often used when creating ad-hoc taxonomies (often called ‘folksonomies’) where users are free to associate any term with an item that they feel is appropriate.
Managed Terms are typically defined by a system administrator or Records Manager at the enterprise level and shared throughout the organization. Columns (essentially properties or attributes) describing SharePoint items are created and terms can be associated with those columns to provide a controlled list of values that an end user can choose from. SharePoint 2010 allows you to further group terms into ‘Term Sets’, which are simply collections of related terms.
Hierarchical term sets are groups of terms configured in a parent-child relationship structure. As an example, your organization may have a term set called ‘Office Locations’. Level 1 of Office Locations may list the countries in which your organization has offices. Level 2 may break down those countries further by state or province. Level 3 may list all offices within the selected state or province. So a selection path may look like this: United States > California > Sacramento Office. (This is commonly referred to as ‘cascading metadata’ in other ECRM solutions. )
Unlike previous versions of SharePoint, SharePoint 2010 allows terms to be managed centrally. It is this central management of metadata terms that is critical to standardizing an organization’s taxonomies across the enterprise and allows for better information lifecycle management, records classification and search performance.
Managed Terms and Enterprise Keywords are maintained in ‘Term Stores’ using the SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata Services application. In later posts, I’ll show you how the Managed Metadata Services application is configured and how Term Stores are created and distributed.
September 1, 2010
So I just finished the new AIIM SharePoint Practitioner course. I took it online, rather than in the two-day classroom training. I have to tell you, I thought it was an excellent course. There’s a clear ECM focus (this is AIIM, after all), but it’s really a very balance course, helping you understand what SharePoint can do for your organization. The course is not too easy that you feel like you’re wasting your time, yet it isn’t so hard that you can’t get certified if you pay close attention to what’s being said. Plus, there’s also a ton of content specifically centered on managing records in SharePoint – both in MOSS 07 and SharePoint 2010.
Next I sign up for the SharePoint Specialist training. After that, it’s the Big Time – SharePoint Master. Given my current schedule, I don’t expect to tackle the SharePoint Specialist course anytime soon, but when I do, I’ll let you know how it goes.