Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Site collection Term Set Groups and how to reconnect Term Set Group to site collection.

When we go to the Term Store manager in SharePoint 2013 Central Administration we can see a bunch of Term Set group with various term sets in it. This term set groups are visible in the entire farm, so far so good.
But we can have a term set group that out of the box will be visible/usable by the the site collection where it is created, this groups are sometimes referred as site collection term set group or local term set group. We can have such term set group if we activate the "SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure" site feature or by some manual method like in this Article. As I said this term set group, the term sets and terms in it will be initially visible/usable only for the site collection and this was related to the problem I had this week and of course the solution.
As you have noticed in most of my posts I pretty much use PowerShell and the SharePoint Object Model, so I will show you how this site collection term set group looks in PowerShell and what we can do with it.
For demo purposes in this post I am going to use two HNSC. One based on TeamSite (http://termsetT.auto.l) with no term set group and second (http://termsetP.auto.l) is with publishing features activated, so the second one comes with site collection term set group.
First we will see how to find the site collection term stet group. This can be achieved with below snipped.

Add-PSSnapin microsoft.sharepoint.powershell
$site = Get-SPSite http://termsetp.auto.l
$taxonomySession = Get-SPTaxonomySession -Site $site
$termStore = $taxonomySession.TermStores["Managed Metadata Service"]
$pubSiteGroup = $termStore.GetSiteCollectionGroup($site)

First we will get an instance of our publishing site. Then we are getting an instance of SPTaxonomySession, this is done with out of the box cmdlet Get-SPTaxonomySession, this object will give us access to the term stores of the web application where our site is deployed or to to the site subscription in multi tenant scenario. In our case this is our Managed Metadata Service application. The taxonomy store has method called GetSiteCollectionGroup,  we are giving  our site as argument and here is the output:


We have two interesting properties to look at. The first one is IsSiteCollectionGroup, it has value True, so this group should be site collection term set group for some site. Second one is SiteCollectionAccessIds, this id is actually telling us the ID of the site collection that can see, use the term sets and edit them. This is the ID of our publishing site. The third one is SiteCollectionReadOnlyAccessUrls, in my case this is the url of my team site that has no site collection term set group, now I will be be able to see the group from my team site, use the terms, but I will not be able to edit the content of the group from the Term Store Management Tool in the Team Site, only read only access. You can actually give read only access from the Term Store Management Tool of the site collection that has full access, when you select the term set group on the bottom you can see section called Site Collection Access, there you can add the URLs of the sites you want to grant read only access.
Last week I receive an email from one of our customers, they needed to do a restore of one of their sites using Restore-SPSite cmdlet and after it their site collection term set group disappeared from the term store and they heavily rely on managed metadata to tag documents and to navigate in huge libraries. They wanted to get back the old group with the old terms because there was a big number of documents tagged and if they create new tags or import them somehow they will be with different IDs, tagged documents will be with invalid tags and navigation and filtering will not work.
The issue here was that they had overwritten the old site with the restore and now the site was with different ID. The old term set group was there, but it was not associated to the site or the correct way here to say is that the new site ID had no access to the old term set group. This can be solved by granting access to the new site ID. I did the same restore operation to my publishing site to reproduce the issue and below is the sniped I used to grant access to the new ID. Well if you do this with publishing site you may receive "error to load the navigation because the term set was not attached correctly...". You can fix this by switching to Managed to Structured navigation and then again to Managed with associating with the correct term set. This however was not the case with the customer and here is the sniped that granted access to the new site ID.

$site = Get-SPSite http://termsetp.auto.l
$taxonomySession = Get-SPTaxonomySession -Site $site
$termStore = $taxonomySession.TermStores["Managed Metadata Service"]
$group1 = $termStore.Groups['Site Collection - termsetp.auto.l-1']
$group1.AddSiteCollectionAccess($($site.ID))
$termStore.CommitAll()

The issue was clearly solved. However I had a similar case with different customer, the customer claimed that the site collection term set group just disappeared. I was able to get the old group in PowerShell but nothing helped me to "bring it back to life" , so I created new group and instead to try to do something with the group I just moved the term sets that were in it to the new group via PowerShell and everything worked fine. I created the new site collection term set group in PowerShell. Lets look at the method we used to get the group for certain site in the first sniped GetSiteCollectionGroup. If you give another argument that is boolean (True/False), the method will check if there is site collection term set group and if you give True and there is no such group it will create it with the out of the box naming. If somewhere in the term store you have some group with the same name it will put a number at the end of the name. Remember that after doing some changes in the term store you should use CommitAll() method to save the changes in the database.

Add-PSSnapin microsoft.sharepoint.powershell
$site = Get-SPSite 'http://termsetT.auto.l'
$taxonomySession = Get-SPTaxonomySession -Site $site
$termStore = $taxonomySession.TermStores["Managed Metadata Service"]
$pubSiteGroup = $termStore.GetSiteCollectionGroup($site, $true)
$termStore.CommitAll()


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