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Todd Klindt's home page > Todd Klindt's Office 365 Admin Blog > Posts > Configuring the SharePoint 2013 Managed Metadata service for Navigation
August 09
Configuring the SharePoint 2013 Managed Metadata service for Navigation

This blog post was written about the Preview of SharePoint 2013. This behavior may be different in the RTM version of the product.

One of the new features of SharePoint 2013 is the ability to save your custom navigation in the Managed Metadata Service Application. Some of my coworkers were playing with it and noticed it worked fine on farms set up with the Farm Configuration Wizard (Booooo!) but did not work on Farms where the service applications had been lovingly created by hand. With the help of the very fashionably bearded Randy Drisgill, we were able to find the difference and fix it. I would tell you how now, but I’m building up for the big reveal at the end. Big reveals are the hallmark of great storytelling.

We found the problem when going to a site collection with the Publishing Feature enabled and going to Site Settings > Navigation. We tried to enable the Managed Navigation, which stores our custom navigation links in the Managed Metadata service. Here’s what the problem looked like:

Office-PC 8-8-2012 10.11.05 PM -2

We checked the two boxes to enable Managed Navigation. Since we were turning it on for the first time we didn’t have a term set created to store our navigation in. Clicking the “Create Term Set” button on the bottom resulted in the following error:

Failed to create term set. A default managed metadata service connection hasn’t been specified.

This message made it sound like the service application wasn’t created (it was) or that it wasn’t in this web application’s proxy group (it was), but that wasn’t the case. Randy discovered there’s a magic checkbox in the Proxy for the Managed Metadata Service application that makes it available for navigation. The Farm Configuration Wizard checks that checkbox. I hadn’t. Here’s how to do it. Go into Central Admin > Manage Service Applications and highlight the Managed Metadata Service Proxy. Then click Properties in the Ribbon.

Office-PC 8-8-2012 10.12.25 PM -2

In the Properties for the Proxy, check the box next to “This service application is the default storage location for column specific term sets.”

Office-PC 8-8-2012 10.12.56 PM

If you’d prefer to do it with PowerShell (and honestly why wouldn’t you?) you can do it like this:

Office-PC 8-9-2012 9.05.41 AM

and for your copying and pasting pleasure:

$saproxy = Get-SPServiceApplicationProxy | Where-Object { $_.typename -like "Managed*" }
$saproxy.Properties.IsDefaultSiteCollectionTaxonomy = $true

Regardless of how you change that setting, either through PowerShell or the wimpy way through Central Admin, you should be able to create a Term Set when enabling Managed Navigation. Victory looks something like this:

Office-PC 8-8-2012 10.23.24 PM -2

Your screen may or may not say “Boom!” on it.





Much appreciated, this was very helpful!
 on 9/27/2012 1:34 PM

It worked!

Thank you..have been trying to google for such a long time! This post finally helped.
 on 12/27/2012 7:08 AM

Properties not enabled

Any ideas why my properties box in the ribbon for Managed Metadata Service Application is not highlighted? I'm logged in with the service account SVCSPSetup which is farm administrator.
 on 1/14/2013 6:08 PM

Re: Properties not enabled

Do you have any account that is a local admin on all the boxes that you can try it with? Read the last two paragraphs of this blog post for why that might be the fix, 

Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 1/15/2013 9:10 AM

Nice post

Nice post.
 on 4/12/2013 6:05 AM

Re: Nice post


Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 4/16/2013 8:53 PM

love it

The only SharePoint blogger that makes me laugh.

Well done again, and thanks for fixing my problem.
 on 5/19/2013 11:42 PM

Me def got the boom here!

Apart from becoming one of my main go-to man.....if anyone wants do anything worthwhile Sharepoint follow dis man!
he rulez .... and with a funny hand too!!!

 on 6/18/2013 11:59 AM

Re: Me def got the boom here!

Thanks Muzik. Glad I could help.

Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 6/21/2013 8:35 AM

Appreciable effort

It really works for me thanks for such wonderful article.


Waseem Khan
 on 7/11/2013 9:59 AM
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