in the last post of the post series managed metadata service application we are going to touch a new SharePoint 2010 feature called content type hub. We are going to see what it is and how to configure it in your SharePoint farm.
In SharePoint 2007 it was impossible to have content types shared among different site collections without custom code. Fortunately, this situation changed in SharePoint 2010 by introducing the content type hub functionality provided with the managed metadata service application. The basic idea is to provide a source site collection (hub) with content types that are going to be published on all site collections that are connected with the managed service application hosting the hub. You have one content type hub association with one metadata service application. Nevertheless, you might have multiple managed metadata service applications with different content type hubs in one farm.
This post tries to give you an overview about this feature by following these topics:
- How do I set-up a content type hub?
- How do I synchronize content types with other site collections?
How do I set-up a content type hub?
As already mentioned before the content type hub is a site collection in a web application that will be used as a source to synchronize its content types with other site collections in the farm. The link between the source site collection and the target sites is provided by the managed metadata service application that hosts the content type hub. Creating a content type hub is really simple. You simply need to follow the next steps:
- locate the source site collection URL you want to associate or create a new one
- go to the central admin
- Application Management –> Manage service applications –> select the managed metadata service application that should host the hub (note: click near to the name to select it)
- select on the same page on the ribbon bar the button Properties
- go to the bottom of the configuration page and you should find the label Content Type hub. Put there the URL of the site collection you would like to use.
- press OK
you can’t remove a content type hub association in the central administration.
Finally, you have to ensure that the managed metadata service application proxy has the property Consumes content type from the Content Type Gallery …... (see next figure – You find the managed metadata service application proxy under the central admin in the location Application Management –> Manage service applications).
With these simple steps we associated a site collection as content type hub to our managed metadata service application. You can make more verifications to see if everything is configured as expected.
In the site collection that acts as content type hub go to see if the site collection feature Content Type Syndication Hub is activated (log in on your site collection –> Site Actions –> Site Settings –> Site collection features):
At the same time you should see multiple timer jobs created in your farm:
- one Content Type Hub job
- multiple Content Type Hub Subscriber jobs (one for each web application consuming the managed metadata service application)
You can verify it by going in the central admin under Monitoring –> Review job definitions. See the next figure how it looks like in my test farm:
Both jobs are responsible for the synchronization process. The first one to define the content types that are going to be published and the second one to consumes and synchronizes them with the site collections associated to the web application.
you can change the job schedules if you want to speed up the content type synchronization or an administrator might execute the jobs whenever needed.
How do I synchronize content types with other site collections?
After the creation of the connection between content type hub and site collection we are going to create our content types as we are used to (Site Actions –> Site Settings –> Site Content Types). I created for example a new content type called Test Content Type with two site columns (see next figure).
Defining a content type in a content type hub does not mean that it is going to be published immediately. You have to specify if the content type should be published or not. You can do this under the newly added option Manage publishing for this content type in your content type settings (see the figure above). If you go there you will see a screen similar to the next one:
The options available for a content type publication are:
- Publish: this option is provided when you publish the content type hub for the first time. Note: publishing does not mean that it is going to be published immediately. You have to wait for the Content Type and Content Type Subscriber jobs or execute them manually.
- Unpublish: the content type is becoming unavailable for synchronization. Note: this does not remove the content type on the consumer site. The consumer site receives a local copy of the content type that was unpublished.
- Republish: if you made changes to this content type and you want to synchronize them, then you have to republish it with this option
In our case the content type was never published (you can see this in the Publishing History in the screen above), therefore, we are going to leave the option as it is and press OK.
After the execution of the Content Type and Content Type Subscriber jobs you should see the newly published content type on one of the subscribe sites.
The content type hubs are a great simplification of our daily work if you need to provide enterprise wide content type synchronization. In this blog post we saw how you might configure the content type hub and associate it to a managed metadata service application. In addition, we saw how the synchronization process of this content type hubs work.
That is all for now. This is the last blog post about the managed metadata service applications post series. I hope that you enjoyed it.