Taxonomy managed in another tool outside of the SharePoint environment may be imported into SharePoint 2010 (newssite). Although Terms and Term Sets can be created manually using the functionality provided by the Term Store Management Tool, a significantly simpler approach to taxonomy creation is through importation.

Creating a Term Sets Import File

Term Sets can be imported into existing Groups by Taxonomy Managers using the Managed Metadata Import File, which is a comma delimited document in standard UTF-8 CSV file format. The basic file contains the six types of metadata fields defined below.

  • Term Set Name -- Unique name given to the vocabulary.
  • Term Set Description -- Short description of the Term Set and its purpose.
  • LCID -- Local Identifier that corresponds to the language of the term.
  • Available for Tagging -- Identifies whether to make the term available for use in tagging, and is represented by a value of either TRUE or FALSE. If left blank it is defaulted to TRUE.
  • Term Description -- A description of the Term displayed as part of a tooltip surfaced with the auto-suggest functionality during user tagging.
  • Term Hierarchy -- Identification of the individual Terms that comprise the Term Set. Terms entered at Level 1 represent a flat list, whereas Terms added to subsequent Levels represent hierarchies. Term Hierarchy is restricted to seven levels.


Caveat: Using The Out Of The Box Sample File 

It’s important to note that the out of the box sample file imports the six default properties only, and that to import additional information such as synonyms and translations for Terms requires customization using the Application Programming Interface, or API. Additional properties available for importation as part of a Term Set through the API include:

Owner -- The name of the primary user or group responsible for the Term Set.


Contact -- E-mail address of the user that receives feedback and/or term suggestions from users while applying tags to content.


Stakeholders -- The names of individuals or groups that are to be notified prior to any major changes to the Term Set.


Submission Policy -- Establishes whether or not users have the ability to add new Terms directly from the tagging interface.


Taxonomy and Metadata in SharePoint 2010

This was part nine of a series on Taxonomy and Metadata in SharePoint 2010. The other posts in the series — if you haven't read them — are:

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