Folksonomy, Taxonomy and Keywords

Out of three, I am pretty sure many of you would have not heard of Folksonomy. Before we dive into Folksonomy let’s see what a Taxonomy is? A Taxonomy is a classification system that is used to classify organisms into different categories and sub-categories. The tags which are used for classification are a standard and were created by experts.


Like Taxonomy, folksonomy is also a classification system but with a difference. Here, the tags are created by end-users of an application.

Now let’s come to the third part ‘Keywords’. Let’s see how does this fit in? Keywords in SharePoint are stored in the Managed Metadata term store. They are located under System->Keywords. Keywords in this location are termed as Folksonomy since they are created by end-users. But the problem with this arrangement is that the keywords can only be used within the site for which it is configured. If you need to manage the keywords in a central location so that it can be used in all the sites of the site collection, you would need to move the keywords to a term set. Please Note: Once the keywords are moved to a term set , they cannot be moved back. They are trapped in a sense!

Once the keywords are stored in a term set, they are part of a taxonomy. So, the process of moving keywords to a term set is often called as Folksonomy to Taxonomy.


Synonyms in SharePoint

When we search for something using a search engine we normally don’t enter the exact keywords that would be present in a website or a document. What we actually enter is something that tends to have the same meaning as those keywords or a phrase that would relate in that way.

Search without synonyms would definitely be something that someone does not want to live with! Without synonyms configured, if you don’t happen to enter the keywords that are present in a document or a website you would get 0 results. This obviously would be really frustrating and you might end up pulling all your hair out off your head :D!

Fortunately SharePoint Search recognizes synonyms and it can be configured. In order to configure it, one would need to Import a Thesaurus file to SharePoint using Power Shell. The Thesaurus file basically contains the key with the corresponding synonym, something like this

key, synonym, language

For Example in a thesaurus file an entry would be-

emerges, rises, en

where en stands for English

So suppose a document had a word called as “emerges” and you search for “rises”, you would still be able to retrieve the document from the search results.

Each line is a new entry in the file. And once you are done adding the entries, the file can be uploaded to SharePoint. One must note that if you re-upload the Thesaurus file with new keywords, it would not automatically add those keywords to the existing thesaurus file. It is basically going to create a new file with the keywords that you had planned to add. So, it is always wise to keep a backup of your Thesaurus file in your local hard drive so that you don’t loose your data if you accidentally happen to upload a file with just the new words.



With each passing day, we are witnessing an Increasing presence of companies on the Internet. Getting your brand on the web increases the probability of reaching out to a larger number of people. But in this day and age simply putting your website on the Internet is not enough, it needs to be ranked high on the results from search engines so that people looking for a product that you are dealing with can reach you. If you don’t take the required steps, your website would most likely go into a “Cyber Black hole” where no one can search for your website.

One of the simplest things a webmaster of your website could do is to create a Sitemap.

What is a Sitemap?

A Sitemap is an XML file which contains a list of URL’s for a site along with additional Information related to the URL like Last Modified, its Importance with reference to other URL’s, frequency of changes etc.  This is an example of a sitemap which list the URL’s along with Information such as Last Modified, Frequency and Priority.


Web crawler is a common component used by every search engine. A web crawler basically goes through a page and extracts certain Information which can be used on the Search results. A Sitemap would actually help the Web crawler when it visits a site. It would know which URL’s to go to and the content to extract.

So creating a Sitemap is highly necessary in order to make your presence felt in the Internet.

Configuring Mail in SharePoint

SharePoint as many people know is a document management system. One of the features of SharePoint is the ability for users to create alerts on Document Libraries. Once you create an alert for a document library, the user would get notified when someone makes a change to any file in the Document Library.

Administrators also get notified if the storage of a Site Collection has reached it’s capacity so that they can perform the required steps in order to get it resolved. So, I have described two different situations, do you find any similarity between them?

Well, in both the situations, someone gets notified. So, how does SharePoint notify a person? This is normally done through emails. And this is not done by default. If you Install a SharePoint Server for your organization, the end users would not be able to set alerts because the emails have not been configured. In order to get this setup, the first step would be to Install a mail server. This can be Installed within the SharePoint farm itself or outside. The most common protocol for emails is SMTP, which needs to be Installed in a Server and configured.

Once we have a SMTP Server, the next and the final step would be to connect the SharePoint server to the SMTP server so that SharePoint can send/receive Emails. This is done in the Central Administration.

  1. Open Central Admin and click on System Settings located in the left panel. Screenshot (146).png
  2. Under “E-Mail and Text Messages (SMS)” click on Configure outgoing e-mail settings.Screenshot (147).png
  3. Then specify the name of the Outbound SMTP Server and your From Address. Screenshot (148).png

Now, your End Users would be able to setup task alerts for Document Libraries and Administrators can receive emails regarding the storage for site collections.

Authentication and Authorization

Authentication and Authorization are two terms which you may have come across while logging into a system. Even though they appear to be similar but in real terms they are actually very different!

Authentication is the first step which occurs when you try to log into a system. The System tries to verify your Identity and make sure that you are the right person to access the system. This is done by asking the user to enter their credentials. In case for some websites, along with entering your credentials, you are also asked to fill out a CAPTCHA sequence to make sure that you are not a machine. These systems have become more sophisticated and now Include Identifying pictures. For Example, it would give you a series of pictures and ask you to Identify the ones which has a beach. Once it makes sure you are the right person, you would be able to access the system.

Authorization is a step which comes after Authentication. It basically determines what are you supposed to do once you login. For Example if there are some confidential files in the server, you might not be authorized to access or modify those documents. It is basically a set of rights which are given to a user.