Managed metadata navigation and friendly URLs is one of my favorite features in Sharepoint 2013. Finally we may get rid of /pages/default.aspx and live with SEO (remember that Google uses URLs in the ranking) and user-friendly URLs for pages and sub sites. This feature allows also to show content from different locations inside one site in Sharepoint, so end users even won’t actually know that it actual content is stored somewhere else. In this part I will make overview of basic functionality and in the second part will describe more complicated features (Update 2013-04-21: second part is here and third part is here).
Let’s see how it works. First of all you need to enable managed metadata driven navigation in Site settings > Navigation:
After that you will be able to manage navigation nodes in the local site collection’s managed metadata group. It can be found in Site settings > Term store management:
Note that each site collection has own local managed metadata group, which is shown only for its own site collection, i.e. when you open Term store management in context of its site collection. E.g. local groups are not shown when you open term store in Central administration > Managed service applications > Managed metadata service. You can use predefined Site Navigation term set or create your own. In the last case you will need to change default navigation term set in Site settings > Navigation:
Let’s add several terms into term set and check how navigation will look like. If we have the following terms:
then global and current navigation will look like this:
As you can see it reflects the hierarchy of the terms which we created in the term store. Note “Edit links” link near both navigations. This is very useful tool from my point of view which allows to modify navigation in WYSIWYG mode:
In the example above I’ve added Investors link which points to external http://example.com URL, i.e. links are not limited by the local Sharepoint URLs. If you will check navigation term set after that, you will see that Investors link is added on appropriate level, i.e. Sharepoint automatically synchronizes changes made in the navigation editor and term set:
For current navigation 2nd higher level links by default are shown in the dynamic menu. It is also possible to edit these nodes using WYSIWYG editor:
Also you may hide (see eye icon near each node), rearrange by using drag and drop, add new and modify existing nodes – and all this can be done without leaving the public view of the site. The same actions can be done in Site settings > Term store management, but it will require knowledge of the term store functionality for content producers. Using WYSIWYG editor it is more simpler and intuitive.
This was basic overview of managed metadata navigation for Sharepoint 2013. In next part I will write about more advanced features and will describe another details of its behavior.