Differences between Site-Level & Tenant-level Term Sets
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SharePoint Online
Sep 28, 2023 7:17 AM

Differences between Site-Level & Tenant-level Term Sets

by HubSite 365 about SharePoint Maven Inc

I help organizations to unlock the power of SharePoint

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SharePoint Online

Explore the pros and cons of Site-Level vs Tenant-level Term Sets in SharePoint and optimize your managed metadata usage.

Examining Term Sets at Tenant & Site Levels

The recent blog post from SharePoint Maven Inc delves into the distinct features of Managed Metadata columns pointing to term sets within a Term Store. This set-up can be organized globally via the tenant-wide Term Store or crafted locally at site level. Each approach has unique positive and negative aspects which the post aims to explore in depth.

With Tenant-Level Term Sets, term sets are established in a Term Store accessible through SharePoint Admin Center. Site owners can modify these values or create fresh term sets only if assigned Manager or Contributor roles in the Term Store. The advantages include a design allowing access to all SharePoint sites within a tenant.

Nevertheless, the downsides are that the site owners necessitate configuration as group managers or contributors by the SharePoint Administrator, and a SharePoint Admin Role is needed for setting up.

  • Advantages: Accessibility for all SharePoint sites.
  • Disadvantages: Site owners need specific roles; SharePoint Admin Role required.

Regarding Site-Level Term Sets, site owners have the option to build site-level term sets. This is particularly beneficial in large organisations where accessing the SharePoint Admin Center can be problematic. Being user-friendly is another plus point. However, term sets at this level are not inherently visible to other sites within a tenant.

For visibility across different sites, they need to be manually shared. Unfortunately, this forms the main disadvantage, as it levies an extra step in information accessibility.

  • Advantages: An automatic alternative for site owners restricted from SharePoint Admin Center access; simplicity of use.
  • Disadvantages: Visibility of term sets across various sites demands manual sharing.

The blog post offers a comprehensive exploration of these term sets and highlights relevance in different situations. It also discusses balancing the benefits against the drawbacks to help the user choose the most optimal approach according to their specific needs. More Information about SharePoint Online.

Further Insights

The choice between Site-Level and Tenant-Level Term Sets primarily depends on the user's specific needs and requirements in managing their SharePoint Online sites. Tenant-Level offers broader visibility and access, best suited for large teams with multiple site owners needing term sets access. Conversely, Site-Level sets are ideal for smaller, controlled environments, providing the site owner with more direct control and autonomy. Understanding these perspectives is vital for choosing the most suitable approach for your Term Store creation and usage.

Read the full article Site-Level vs. Tenant-level Term Sets

SharePoint Online - Differences between Site-Level & Tenant-level Term Sets

Learn about Site-Level vs. Tenant-level Term Sets

Creating Managed Metadata columns in SharePoint requires you to connect the column to a term set within a Term Store. Hence, an understanding of Site-Level and Tenant-Level term sets is critical for an efficient SharePoint experience. Each of these classifications has its unique pros and cons, necessitating a careful comparison to make an informed choice.

You can create term sets either globally or locally at the site level. Tenant-Level Term Sets are developed within the Term Store that can be reached via the SharePoint Admin Center. Naturally, site owners can access them, but to modify the values within these term sets or generate new ones, being granted Manager or Contributor roles within the Term Store is required.

Tenant-Level Term Sets Pros and Cons:

  • Advantages: Accessible and visible to all the SharePoint sites within a tenant by design
  • Disadvantages: For new term sets creation, Site Owners need to be assigned as group managers or contributors. This setup requires a SharePoint Admin Role setup/configuration

Site-Level Term Sets, as elaborated in a previous blog post, can also be created by site owners. It is often the last resort for site owners when they don't have access to the SharePoint Admin Center —a common occurrence in larger organizations.

Site-Levet Term Sets Pros and Cons:

  • Advantages: Provides an alternative for site owners who can't access their company's SharePoint Admin Center; also, pretty simple to use
  • Disadvantages: By design, term sets created at the site level stay hidden from other sites within a tenant, unless manually shared with other sites

Deciding whether to use Tenant-Level or Site-Level term sets boils down to your specific business requirements and the access level of your SharePoint Site Owners. Both term set offerings have their exclusive strengths and limitations, and understanding these will help you leverage SharePoint's capabilities better. Finally, remember, learning never stops, and mastering SharePoint is an ongoing journey enriched by continuous learning and exploring.

More links on about Site-Level vs. Tenant-level Term Sets

Site-Level vs. Tenant-level Term Sets
Feb 20, 2023 — In this article I compare Site-Level Term Sets and Tenant-level Term Sets. I also provide advantages and disadvantages for each approach.
How to create site level term sets in SharePoint Online
Jul 28, 2022 — One important thing to note is that Term Sets created at the site level are only available within the given site and are not visible to any ...
Make a term set available to other site collections in ...
When you create term sets in one site collection, by default, they're not available to other site collections in the tenant. However, you can give site ...


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