Managed Metadata in SharePoint 2013

Metadata is defined as ‘data about data’ or ‘metadata’.  It can also be defined as ‘information about information’. For example, a book can have Meta data such as, title and author. Metadata can be of many types and can be associated with any type of element.

In SharePoint this information can be centrally managed and this makes it ‘Managed Metadata’ in SharePoint. Managed Metadata in SharePoint can be defined as the hierarchical collection of centrally managed terms, term set and enterprise keywords.

Managed Metadata concept was introduced by Microsoft in SharePoint 2010 version.

In SharePoint Managed Metadata is exposed using a service application known as Managed Metadata service application.

Given below are a few steps to create a managed Metadata service application in SharePoint 2013.

  1. Open central admin site using an admin account.
  2. In the central admin site under application management section click on ‘Manage Service application’ as shown below.
    Service Application
  3. Manage service applications link will redirect the user to manage Service Applications page. In the manage service applications page under service applications tab click on new button. New button click will display a drop down menu as shown in the screenshot below.
    Application Management
  4. Click on the Managed Metadata service link, which will pop up a new window, where in you can specify the name of the service application, name of the database which will be created to store the created managed terms, application pool details and content settings, as shown in the screenshot below.
    MetaData Service
  5. After a few minutes the service application will be created and the managed metadata service application default page will be loaded as shown in the screenshot below.In the default service application page, on the right pane, the default settings will be displayed.
    MetaData Service Applications
  6. In the left pane of the managed service application page, under the system folder which is nothing but the system group, there will be three different term sets created as shown in the screenshot below.
    managed service applicationsThe hashtags term set will store the data, which has been used for social collaboration tagging. For example, if you create a new entry in the news feed web part, with hash tag, the same will stored in the hashtag term set as shown in the screenshot below.

    Social Collaboration managed-metadata-07

    Keywords term set would store the terms created in a managed metadata column in a SharePoint list and library. This allows multiple values and has set the allow submission policy set to true. Therefore, if any user adds a new value to the column, the same will be stored as the keyword under keywords ‘TermSet’. Orphaned TermSet would store any of the deleted term which are being used.

  7. There are some more groups created by default as shown in the screenshot below.
    SharePoint SharePoint 2013

People group would contain three different TermSets as shown in the screenshot above. These TermSets are used in user profiles and properties to store the information about the user. Every new entry for a user profile property for these three TermSets will be stored here.

Search dictionaries group would contain different TermSets as shown in the screenshot above. Let’s discuss about each TermSet in detail.

You can manage company names in the company name inclusion and company name exclusion term set you can control which company names will be extracted and placed in a managed property field.

Search queries can be improved by managing “Did you mean” spelling suggestions in the Term Store using query spelling exclusion and inclusion.

Important terminology

  • Taxonomy: Taxonomy is the way to arrange the terms in a formal way.
  • Folksonomy: Folksonomy is free flow and informal way of classification of data.
  • Groups:  A group is a set of term sets that share common security requirements.
  • TermSets: TermSet can be defined as group of related terms. There are two types of TermSets. One is local TermSet which is created at site collection scope and one is global TermSet which is created in managed metadata service application.
  • Terms:  A term can be defined as specific word or phrase that ca n be associated with a SharePoint item.


  • Ravish Verma

    Ravish works as Senior Technical Lead with Trigent Software. He has extensive experience in Design and Development of Enterprise Applications based on SharePoint Online, SharePoint® 2013, SharePoint® 2010 and SharePoint® 2007. He comes with demonstrated analytical skills along with expertise in business communication and relationship management. Ravish is a leader with strong analytical, problem solving abilities and track record of forging business partnerships.