Product Catalog Sites and the Product Hierarchy Term Set

We recently ran into a perplexing issue with SharePoint 2013. We'd create a Managed Metadata service application, and we'd be able to create and use term sets without any issues. However, when we created a Product Catalog site, the site collection term store group and the Product Hierarchy term set did not get created. This is a fairly major roadblock, as the entire structure of the site (e.g. the Item Category site column, the Products list) is built around this term set.

In other words, you click this:




















You expect to see this:





















But you actually see this:


The Solution


On the properties for your Managed Metadata service proxy, you need to select the option This service application is the default storage location for column specific term sets. To do this, in the list of service applications, select the Managed Metadata service application proxy (be sure to select the proxy, not the service application itself). Then, on the ribbon, click Properties




















Next, on the Edit Managed Metadata Service Connection dialog, select This service application is the default storage location for column specific term sets, and then click OK:


Next time you create a Product Catalog site collection, you should find that the site collection term set group and the Product Hierarchy term set are present. Unfortunately, this step isn't retroactive - you need to configure the Managed Metadata service application proxy before you create the Product Catalog site.

The This service application is the default storage location for column specific term sets option is selected automatically if you use the Farm Configuration Wizard to provision your Managed Metadata service application, but not if you create the Managed Metadata service application manually. It's not necessarily obvious that Product Hierarchy is a column-specific term set, but when you think about it the term set is specific to the Item Category site column within each Product Catalog site.

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