Create a Term Store in SharePoint 2010 - dummies

Create a Term Store in SharePoint 2010

To create a new set of terms, your SharePoint 2010 site collection must be associated with a term store — a place to store and manage terms. The term store must be created by IT, but the management of the store and the terms within it can be delegated to you. In other words, it’s not really the role of your IT department to manage your company’s terms.

Managed metadata is configured through the managed metadata service application (MMSA). A SharePoint deployment can have many instances of this service, each configured with different sets of terms. Web applications (the containers that store site collections) can be associated with zero to many MMSAs. Terms are stored in a database separate from the site’s content database.

Terms can be organized into a hierarchy. Additionally, terms can be grouped into term sets (which contain a hierarchy of terms), and each group assigned an owner. The owner can grant other people permission to manage the terms in that term set group. All this activity occurs in the Term Store Management tool, which is accessible from the Site Settings page of the top-level site in a site collection.

To open the Term Store Management tool:

  1. Browse to any site collection associated with the term store you want to manage and then choose Site Actions→Site Settings.

    The Site Settings page is displayed. Odd, no?

  2. In the Site Administration group, click the Term Store Management link.

    The Term Store Management tool appears.

    If the site isn’t configured to use a term store, you see a message telling you so. Contact IT for assistance.


The Term Store Management tool is part of the SharePoint 2010 managed metadata service application. Like all service applications, MMSA is configured in Central Administration. To use the service, a web application must be associated with at least one instance of an MMSA.

The Term Store Management tool is divided into two panes. The left pane shows a Tree View of the term hierarchy, and the right pane shows the properties for the current item selected in the tree.

Tree View is a little persnickety to navigate. To expand items in Tree View, you have to click the arrow next to the item.

To add new terms to an item in Tree View, you have to hover over the item until you see an arrow. Clicking the arrow opens a drop-down list.