Taxonomy–The Challenge of Starting from Scratch

One of the most talked about capabilities since the launch of SharePoint 2010 is the Managed Metadata Service.  For those of you who aren’t already familiar with this service and the support it provides for modeling and deploying a rich corporate taxonomy, I’d recommend reading Pat’s post Introducing Enterprise Metadata Management.  For those of you who are familiar with the great taxonomy capabilities in SharePoint 2010, I’m sure many of you have spent time looking at an empty term store wondering where to start.  If you’re lucky, you already have a well defined corporate taxonomy and should by now have leveraged our import capabilities to pre load SharePoint with the vocabulary you want your users to leverage for tagging and finding content.  On the other hand, you could be like many customers I talk to who don’t even know where to start when it comes to developing a taxonomy, or have spent years in conference rooms debating what the right taxonomy should be.  You’ve probably even head someone say “I’m sure someone has already solved this problem”, and if that’s the case, that someone was the smartest person in the room for two key reasons.  The first is that there are professional taxonomists who have already modeled most business domains and the second is that the people responsible for creating content in your company have already developed a community vocabulary or folksonomy that they use extensively.

If you happen to be one of those customers who is stuck looking at an empty term store then I’ve got great news for you.  The SharePoint team have teamed up with WAND, a leading provider of Enterprise Taxonomies, to make their General Business Taxonomy available as a freely available download.  The General Business Taxonomy consists of around 500 terms describing common functional areas that exist in most businesses.  The General Business Taxonomy can be imported in to the SharePoint 2010 term store within minutes and provides a great starting point for customers looking to build a corporate vocabulary and take advantage of the Managed Metadata Service.  In addition to this freely available download, WAND provide a range of taxonomies covering a variety of domains including Products and Services, Local Search, Enterprise, Jobs, Travel, Medical, Lifecycle, Finance and Records Retention.

Download the General Business Taxonomy today and start to explore the benefits that taxonomy can bring to your business and your people. 

If you’re new to taxonomy and the benefits it can brings to your business, take a look at the following sites:

Ryan Duguid
Senior Product Manager
Microsoft Corporation