Adopting SharePoint Hybrid Taxonomy with Free Taxonomy Tools
Published Oct 18 2017 09:15 AM 10.9K Views

(Today's guest blog post is written by Mark Leher of WAND, Inc.)


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-premises term store, and vice-versa, has made it hard to enforce tagging with consistent term sets.


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 is a key feature release of SharePoint 2016 Feature Pack 1.   The main Term Store becomes 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:

  • Hybrid Taxonomy for SharePoint 2016 will make it easy to synchronize your taxonomy term sets so both on premise and in the cloud SharePoint content will be tagged consistently.
  • 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.
  • 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

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.  Learn more about WAND at




Mark Leher is WAND’s Chief Operating Officer.  Mark is an expert on taxonomies and how to use them to improve findability of information assets.  For over a decade, he has worked with companies of all sizes in building taxonomies, developing taxonomy strategy, and applying taxonomies to information assets.  Mark leads the development of WAND’s pre-defined taxonomy library and he is the creator of the WAND General Business Taxonomy, which has been downloaded by more than 8,000 businesses for use in the SharePoint term store.  Mark has also created a series of educational webinars about the SharePoint term store and managed metadata service that have been viewed over 100,000 times.  Mark graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor degree in economics and philosophy and earned an MBA from the University of Denver Daniels College of Business.


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‎Oct 18 2017 01:19 PM
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