Publishing and Web Content Management : New in SharePoint 2013 (part 3) - Using the Content Search Web Part, Managed Navigation

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Using the Content Search Web Part

All being well, you have designated one or several lists/libraries as catalog enabled, and run a successful full search crawl over these lists. It is now time to demonstrate exposing the cross-published content in other site collections using the Content Search Web Part.

  1. Navigate to a different site collection in your farm. For simplicity I created another site collection under a managed path of the same web application.
  2. Navigate to a page on your site where you wish to include cross-published content.
  3. Edit the page, and insert a Web Part from the ribbon.
  4. Choose the Content Search Web Part, under Content Rollup (Figure 7).


    Figure 7. Inserting a Content Search Web Part

  5. Edit the Web Part properties.
  6. Click the Change Query button to edit the search query (using a query builder) and set result sources to refine the content shown in the Web Part.
  7. Choose a desired list template. If you want to see all available content exposed by the search results, select the diagnostic template.
  8. You may change the presentation of search results by creating custom search templates from within site settings.

Managed Navigation

SharePoint 2013 now offers much-awaited custom navigation of sites via the Managed Metadata Term Store.This same hierarchical infrastructure bodes well for site navigation, which is also hierarchical. I often hear the word “taxonomy,” pertaining to both tagging taxonomy and site structure, which just speaks to the fact that the Managed Metadata Term Store is great for managing custom navigation.

Prior to SharePoint 2013, custom navigation typically involved some custom component, to read navigation structure from a list, XML file, or some other hierarchical node store. The out-of-the-box offering provided very little in the way of custom navigation—just the ability to include headers and links at each site level. The main issue with the out-of-the-box offering is that it was limited in the number of nested navigation nodes, without adhering to the actual structure of sites and subsites in the collection. Despite typical site navigation following site structure, content owners should have the ability to store their content (sites and pages) in any structure and have the navigation look completely different. Content storage and structure suits how content owners maintain content, and navigation is about how end users access content, and the two may look very different. Managed metadata navigation finally allows content owners to create a navigation structure independent of that of their content model.

To demonstrate managed navigation, I shall first create a hierarchy in the default term store for our application:

  1. Open Central Administration.
  2. Click the link for manage service applications.
  3. Scroll down the list and click Managed Metadata Service.
  4. Click the Manage icon in the ribbon to open the term store editor (Figure 8).


    Figure 8. Managed Metadata Term Store editor

  5. Ensure that you have permissions to edit the term store—add your username to the term store administrators field.
  6. Managed navigation binds to term sets, so I created a new group for navigation and then a term set for site navigation.

Note  SharePoint creates a default term set in the Managed Metadata Term Store for your site collection; I created my own for demonstration purposes.

Figure 9 shows a sample managed navigation term set, which I defined for demonstrating custom managed navigation in my publishing site. Before you proceed to configuring your publishing site to use this structure, I must point out the steps to ensure that term sets behave as navigation nodes.


Figure 9. Sample managed navigation term set

  1. Create a term set structure, similar to that in Figure 10.
  2. Click the Site Navigation term set.
  3. In the right panel, click the Intended Use tab.
  4. Check the check box to enable the term set for navigation—you can also use the term set for tagging if you wish by toggling the other check box option.
  5. Click the Save button to save the changes.
  6. Click the tab for term driven pages—this page shows the settings for friendly URLs for the term set (more on friendly URLs shortly).
  7. Now you are ready to configure your publishing site to use the managed navigation.
  8. Open your publishing site (assuming the hosting web application uses the Managed Metadata Service you just configured).
  9. Click the gear icon, then select the menu item for site settings.
  10. Click the link for Navigation, under the Look and Feel header.
  11. SharePoint displays the navigation settings page like that in Figure 11.


    Figure 10. Managed navigation in SharePoint site

  12. Choose the radio button option for Managed Navigation for either or both the left and global (top) navigation.
  13. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the Managed Navigation Term Set section.
  14. Select the term set to use for managed navigation.
  15. The check boxes below the term set browser tell SharePoint whether to populate your term set with nodes when you create new pages in the site and whether to generate friendly URLs for new pages.
  16. Click the OK button at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

Figure 11 shows the managed navigation nodes in the working site. If you compare the left navigation with the global (top) navigation, you should see that they show the same structure, except the global navigation renders navigation pop-out menus for levels greater than the two deep of the current node. This is typical behavior: left navigation usually shows two levels below the current site node and global navigation all, depending on the site design.


Figure 11. Managed navigation in operation

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