You've probably noticed that I've had a few posts on the SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata feature since I got back from the SharePoint conference. We get excited about this kind of thing because metadata is a big part of all of the software we build here. But some people are probably saying "Why should we get so excited about new metadata features in SharePoint? The new UI and improved capacity are really the neat things about SharePoint 2010." Well, I guees it all depends on your point of view. The way I see it SharePoint is all about colloboration and document / records management. The more easily you can work within SharePoint and the more easily you can find stuff, the more productive a knowledge worker can be. So that's why I thought I would cover off the new Navigation Hierarchies and Key Filters in SharePoint 2010 today. Once you have your metadata into SharePoint you can start taking advantage of it, and navigation hierarchies and key filters are 2 great examples of how you can leverage metadata in SharePoint.
Navigation Hierarchies appear in the left hand pane of the new user interface and allow users to navigate metadata taxonomy in order to filter the view of lists / document libraries etc. For example, I've setup a document library that contains documents with different security classifications. To do this I've added a column called Classification that has possible values of PUBLIC, CONFIDENTIAL and INTERNAL. Here is the document library:
(click to see larger image)
I can turn on the navigation hierarchy for this library by going into the Document Library settings, selecting Metadata Navigation Settings, and then adding the Classification column to the list of Selected Hierarchy Fields.
Once this Setting is in place we can go back to our document linrary and we will see Classification as a available field in the Hierarchy:
By clicking on the CONFIDENTIAL value in the hierarchy, I will see only the CONFIDENTIAL documents in my library.
Maybe not that impressive in a document library that only has 15 documents, but in a library that may contain a few hundred documents this would really help users filter down to specific documents they want to find and work with.
Key Filters also appear in the left hand pane of the user interface just below the navigation hierarchy. Key Filters operate in a similar fashion to the navigation hierarchy. They are also used to filter a list or document library. The difference is that the user does not have to navigate a hierarchy, they can simply type in the value they wish to filter on, or in some cases select the value from a drop down list. When the user clicks Apply, their list or library will be filtered based on the value.
In order to configure the Key Filters option, the administrator goes into the Document Settings, Metadata Navigation Settings, and then adds the Classification column to the Selected Key Filters Fields.
These features should help your users get more value out of the metadata. If you are interested in using metadata for SharePoint security see the Metadata Security blog.