In the first part of this series, click here, I talked about a knowledge centre created for one of our customers. In this article I will show you how easy it is to create a knowledge centre with out-of-the-box SharePoint functionalities.
Step 1 – Create the site
The first step is to create a new site based on the Enterprise Wiki template:
I really like the Wiki. It is easy for the users to create new pages, by using the Site Actions menu, or by adding [[ ]] to a word or sentence. Let’s say you created a new page about hiring new employees. This page needs to connect to another page about the bonus system for recruiting new employees. Only you are not the author for this page and want another user create the page. Just perform the following action:
[[Recruitment bonus system]]
The text will get marked:
Step 2 – Set up the taxonomy
The site is created and now we want users to be able to use the Categories metadata field with predefined choices. For this, we need to set up the taxonomy by using the Term Store. Go to the top site settings and click on Term store management. We have to create a new group for our predefined choices. To be original I will call this group Contoso. You can use the name of your company or client. A group can contain multiple term sets. A term set is a container where you can define your taxonomy structure by creating terms. You can create as many term sets as you want but remember you can reuse them throughout the portal (with the managed metadata column) so try to keep it simple.
To create a term set click, you only have to click next to the name of the group and choose for new Term Set. You can start creating terms to configure your taxonomy structure. In my example it looks like the following screenshot:
Step 3 – Attach the term set
The taxonomy is ready to be used! Go to the Wiki site and select the Pages library. Go to the Library Settings (in the ribbon under Library). Under the section Columns you have to select the Wiki Categories column. First we have to change the name to Department so user’s don´t get too confused by the different names. We can now attach the term set, created in the previous step, to this out-of-the-box column. Go to the Term Set Settings and select the term set, in our case Department, and confirm by pressing Ok.
Step 4 – Enable metadata navigation
Another great feature of SharePoint 2010 is metadata navigation. This has to be activated first. Go to Manage Site Features and activate Metadata Navigation and Filtering. Now, go back to the Pages Library Settings. Under General Settings a new option appeared called Metadata navigation settings. Click on it:
If we want the users to be able to filter the pages per department we have to select Department under Available Hierarchy Fields. Don´t forget to remove Folders. We can add additional filters by selecting these under Available Key Filter Fields. We will pick Created By. We can confirm these settings by pressing Ok.
Step 5 – Change the welcome page
You probably noticed that we made all these configurations in the Pages library, when we click at Knowledge Centre in the top navigation we don’t see the metadata navigation but still the home page of the Wiki. To change this we have to configure a new welcome page for the knowledge centre. Go to Site Actions, View All Site Content and click on the Pages Library. Now, copy the URL. The last step is to click at Welcome Page under Look and Feel:
Paste the URL so it replaces the current Welcome Page. We are almost there!
Step 6 – Change the view
The last step is an easy one. We are going to change the view of the Pages library so we can see the most interesting metadata. Click at Library in the ribbon and Modify View. I advise to only keep Name, Modified and Contact. There are still two default pages displayed. Delete these pages and you are ready to go! In the final article I would like to show you some cool adjustments to the knowledge centre by using some more OOTB features and SharePoint Designer.