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Jonathan Ralton
Senior Information Architect
BlueMetal
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February 27, 2014

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Barry Schneider

What do you mean by re-established in this statement - "so those will all need to be re-established after the replacement term set is created."

Jonathan Ralton

Hi Barry,

I appreciate your question. I'll try to address it as best I can.

Say you've imported a term set named 'Customers' previously, and have pointed a managed metadata column named 'Customer' to that term set, whether it be a site column or a list/library column.

Your list of customers has changed enough to warrant replacing the term set instead of manually creating, updating, and/or deleting individual terms. Ignoring data loss concerns, of course, you should delete the existing 'Customers' term set before you re-import it. Otherwise, SharePoint will import your file and create a new term set alongside your old one named 'Customers1'. It will not allow you to import the file in place of the existing term set.

Your 'Customer' column must be pointed to the replacement term set in order to be able to select terms from it. Otherwise, when a user creates or updates a new item that uses the 'Customer' column, the will not be presented with any customers to select from. SharePoint will not just recognize that you've imported a term set with the same name as a previous one and re-establish the links to columns that used it for you; you must do this yourself. This is because managed metadata columns and their terms are not referenced by name; they are referenced by GUID in the background. When you re-import the 'Customers' term set, it will be assigned a new GUID and all the terms within it will also be assigned new GUIDs.

Besides the technical challenge around this, you'll want to carefully consider the consequences of deleting and replacing a term set if content has been tagged with terms within it.

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