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Monday, May 31, 2010

SharePoint 2010 – Share Content Types Across Site Collections

Guest Author: Jeff Carr

Working through the process of developing an enterprise information management strategy uncovers elements common across the organization. These commonalities should result in the establishment of a set of core content types, each with a standard set of metadata attributes. A fundamental challenge faced by organizations with respect to specifying content types and metadata in earlier versions of SharePoint has been the inability to easily repurpose or reuse them across site collections.

Because site collections have represented fairly strict boundaries, most organizations have been forced to design and build custom solutions to get around this problem. Synchronization of content types and metadata across site collections required them to be copied or updated to each site collection, either manually by an administrator or programmatically through workarounds to the system itself. 

Fortunately, SharePoint 2010 has addressed this issue through the implementation of Content Type Hubs. With the Content Type Hub, a specific site collection is selected to act as the central repository for content types intended for use enterprise-wide. Content types that are made part of the hub can then be syndicated, or published out, for consumption across other site collections.

What this means is that modifications to a global content type can now easily be pushed out to all site collections where it is being used, simplifying management. Next up we take a look at information lifecycle management through the application of retention stages.

Guest Author: Jeff Carr

Jeff Carr is an Information Architect and Search Consultant with Earley & Associates specializing in user centered information design. Working with SharePoint since 2003, he has been involved in the design, development and integration of web-based solutions from intranets and extranets to public facing websites for a variety of large enterprises across a wide range of industries.

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