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.


SharePoint Online switching from Classic View to Modern View

SharePoint is the cloud sibling of the SharePoint family. It comes with your Office 365 Subscription. Microsoft Initially built SharePoint solely for on-premises but since the launch of SharePoint Server 2013, they have also come out with their cloud product.

The advantages of SharePoint Online is the end users get acquainted with the latest features from Microsoft. It is easier for Microsoft to release new features to the cloud rather than the On-Premise version. Hence, the cloud version gets newer features and updates before the On-Premises Version.

With SharePoint Online and Office 365, Microsoft has created a new view or look for SharePoint itself. It translates to the entire SharePoint Online Infrastructure. There have been changes to the appearance of Items in the Menus and some of the menus which were quite prominent in the On-Premises version is not there. They have tried to make use of the Office 365 ribbon and have tried to transfer most of the functionality over there.

If a user is not comfortable with the the new look, he can switch over to the old view at any point of time. There is a link at the bottom left hand corner which says “Switch to Classic view”. There is a perceptible difference in the appearance of the old and new view, just to give you an Idea here is the view of a Document Library. This is a view from the New look Screenshot (163).png

And this is the old view

Screenshot (162).png

See the difference? The old view has a menu for the library which Includes difference functionality which is not there in the new view. So if you happen to be in the old view and want to come back to the new view, simply close your browser and open it again, this would delete the cookies associated with the old view.

Finding out the version of SharePoint you are using

SharePoint every 3-4 years comes up with a new release like SharePoint Server 2007, SharePoint Server 2010, SharePoint Server 2013 and the latest SharePoint Server 2016. You might be Interested or curious to know which version of SharePoint your organization is using. In order to find out follow these steps-

  1. Go to the Central Administration. That can be done by clicking on Start and then Central Administration. As you can see in the top left hand corner, the version of SharePoint would be listed.Screenshot (134).png
  2.  One could also further explore, by clicking on Upgrade and Migration and then clicking on  Check Product and Patch Installation Status, which would result in this page. Screenshot (135).png

Connecting to SharePoint Online using PowerShell

PowerShell allows one to perform bulk operations in a short period of time. It is much faster than doing the same operations over a GUI. In SharePoint Online if one needs to manage Site Collections, they would need to log into the SharePoint Online Admin Center. If one has to use Power Shell in SharePoint Online, they would need to download the SharePoint Online Management Shell. Here are the steps on how to connect to SharePoint Online and perform operations using Power Shell.



  1. Download the SharePoint Online Management ShellScreenshot (112).png
  2. On the Start Menu, type sharepoint.
  3. Click on the App, SharePoint Online Management Shell
  4. Then enter the following commands.
$adminUPN="<the full email address of a SharePoint Online global administrator
 account, example:>"
$orgName="<name of your Office 365 organization, example: contosotoycompany>"
$userCredential = Get-Credential -UserName $adminUPN -Message "Type the password."
Connect-SPOService -Url https://$ -Credential