Enterprise Content Types

I attended a fantastic session today at the SharePoint Conference regarding how content types have been improved in SharePoint 2010 from the MOSS 2007 implementation. In MOSS is was a restriction (and a real headache) that content types where specific to a site collection and duplicate content types would be required for other collections. Whilst there were some techniques to work around this limitation, such as content deployment and packaged content types, it was always error prone.

With SharePoint 2010 it is now possible to define content types for the enterprise – hence Enterprise Content Types! These enterprise content types are created in one central location – the Content Type Hub – and published to other site collections, web applications or even farms. This is known as content type syndication.

Central to content type syndication is the Managed Metadata Service Application. This allows for content types to be published and consumed by associated web applications.

Enterprise content types are created as per any ‘standard’ content types in a regular site collection content type gallery. This site collection is then marked as being the content type hub for the particular managed metadata service application – there is a maximum of one hub per managed metadata service.

From the content type hub it is possible to re-publish, un-publish or view errors that occurred during the publishing / consuming procedure.

From the consuming site collection it is possible to extend a published enterprise content type, or derive a new content type from it.

Enterprise content types are going to be useful for a variety of ways – primarily:

  • Promoting governance
  • Easier centralised management
  • Consistency and standardised information
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