Metadata is information about information Traditionally it’s used to describe our information objects in order to find, classify or report on them. However, in SharePoint we’re presented with a little more than just this find/classify functionality. Within SharePoint you can extend the functionality of Metadata and make your life easier, namely, for a richer search and display capability. Let’s see how this can be achieved, we’ll use an example of a Sales Rep needing to browse through various case studies to find some that will help him in a presentation to a prospect. However, the Rep doesn’t want to open every document/video to find the right information. So how could her search be made easier? Firstly, we create a Document Library that needs to contain a few important pieces of metadata:
Attribute – this tells us is it’s a ‘featured’ or ‘normal’ case study
Media Image – an image that represents the Case Study product
Strap Line – a one-line explanation of the product.
Product Family – the type of product (Beauty or Confectionary)
If we create these as Site Columns, then the search index will pick them up for us. Effectively we will be using this metadata as our presentation layer for our Case Studies. So let’s use our metadata to present our Case Studies in a more user friendly way.
We can add a Search Results Web Part to a page and by using the Property Mappings we can use our indexed metadata.
The result is that we get a more intuitive interface to scroll through our case studies!
Our metadata is surfaced in a nice, visual way – providing important info for each case study allowing the Sales Rep to page through rather than opening each one! This leverages the capability of ‘typical’ metadata and enables a much quicker search (and more appealing!)
Well done, SharePoint.« Back to News and Opinion