The Content Type Hub significantly reduces the effort of metadata management in SharePoint.
If you have a column that you want to reuse you can save it as a Site Column. It then becomes a sort of template, that you can use anywhere else in the site without having to manually re-configure. When creating a new column you’ll simply choose the site column to bypass all the set-up.
A lot of times you use the same few columns together frequently. So they’ve also given us a way to collect those together as a group and apply them all at once. Which is what Content Types are. For the purposes of metadata, Content Types are simply a collection of Site Columns that can all be applied at the same time.
Well, this is awesome, but I find that I have more use for these column templates and groups of columns, on other sites. I need them everywhere, not just within one site. After all, a key of metadata is consistency–where a simple typo means stuff isn’t going to connect as intended. Having to re-create these on every site, and include it in my new site provisioning is a pain.
The Content Type Hub
This is where the secret site called the Content Type Hub comes in. When Site Columns are created in the Content Type Hub, they will be propagated to all your sites. And you can choose to push out changes as well.
When I discovered the Content Type Hub, it Rocked my World!
The Content Type Hub is a Team Site, cleverly named Team Site. To access it you have to know it is there, and you need the address.
This site is created automatically with every Tenant online. With an on-prem configuration you used to have to specifically create the Content Type Hub as part of the Managed Metadata Service Application. I’m not sure if that is still the case with the newest emerging On-Prem SharePoint, but it was with the last iteration.
The address for the Content Type Hub site is:
note the unusual capitalization of site name is not an error, it is required
- Don’t forget to “favorite” the Content Type Hub the first time you access it.
- Add a unique site icon to the site, making it easier to identify.
- This is more important than usual since the site can be a challenge to find with that very unique name of “Team Site”
- Download a PDF file that has a Meta Tag icon you can use for this purpose. I’ve included various color combinations, hopefully one will work for you.
Practice safe computing
I use extreme caution when I do anything in the Content Type Hub. In addition to serving up Universal Site Columns and Content Types, It also has something to do with the Term Store.
An example of cautious computing: even though you might not like the name of “Team Site”, I don’t recommend you change it.
With the exception of Site Columns and Content Types, I would be very cautious, and not make changes to this site unless they’re truly required. I also recommend that you don’t access this site till you have competence with Metadata–seriously, do your exploration first with a lab tenant.
Microsoft’s related resources
- Introduction to managed metadata
- Create a Managed Metadata column
- Create and manage terms in a term set