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Friday, October 28, 2016

SharePoint 2013/2016/Online (Office 365) Importing Term Set Errors

I've come across a few common issues with importing term sets so I figured I'd share some of them here for others.

The most common error is:

Not all terms were imported successfully. Please see the server log for more information


1) You have a comma (or the delimiter you used) somewhere in your terms
2) You have blank lines in your import file
3) You have a special character in a term, for example an accented word

BTW - the "server log" is the SharePoint server log (c:\program files\common files\microsoft shared\web server extensions\15\logs). However, you might not find much of the information useful.

The best way to figure out what the problem is is to export the term set via PowerShell and compare it to the original import. I'd recommend Stuart Roberts script which seems to work nicely and doesn't export ALL of them, just a group:

The one from Microsoft:

BTW - for the Microsoft version, you need to do it from the SharePoint Management Shell or add the following snippet to the top of the file (under the Site Url/Output folder variables):

function Add-Snapin {
if ((Get-PSSnapin -Name Microsoft.Sharepoint.Powershell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue) -eq $null) {
$global:SPSnapinAdded = $true
Write-Host "Adding Sharepoint module to PowerShell" -NoNewline
Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.Sharepoint.Powershell -ErrorAction Stop
Write-Host " - Done."

Write-Host "Adding Microsoft.Sharepoint assembly" -NoNewline
# Add-Type -AssemblyName "Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c"
# Disable the above line and enable the line below for SharePoint 2013
Add-Type -AssemblyName "Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c"
Write-Host " - Done."

Snip courtesy of Stuart Roberts.

Another issue is when you try to import a large term set (> 2000 items) and after a period of time, SharePoint displays an error (Sorry, something went wrong):

For some reason, you cannot import more than 2000 items even though you can have up to 30,000 in one term set. The problem here is doing the import via the UI (Central Administration). It appears that either the page or the session times out when it hits that limit.

The only way to do a large term set is using PowerShell. This script is found here:

WARNING: The example shown in the script is NOT correct - the script shows:

##For example : Use the following command to import Languages CSV to Default Site collection group of the site
##ImportTermSet "" "Languages" ".\ImportTermSets\Languages.csv" "" $false

What's missing is the Term Set Group, so it should look something like this:

##ImportTermSet "" "Languages" ".\ImportTermSets\Languages.csv" "MyGroup" $false

Saturday, October 22, 2016

SharePoint Term Set Import doesn't import description and Using Term Set Other Labels

SharePoint Term Set Import Description Doesn't Load

So importing the other day, was reminded of a problem from a while ago - it is clearly a bug and a pain so added this so others might be wary.

When using Term Sets, it can be very handy to import them via CSV - easily laid out in Excel and in fact, they give you the file format to use.

What they don't tell you is that the import is shaky:
1) I've had instances where some terms are not imported and no error reported.
2) There's no way to add 'other labels' (see below), something I love to use.
3) As some of you probably know, it often reports an import error even though all of the terms are created.

At any rate - back to the bug. When defining a term, I always put a full description; turns out this works fine as long as you do not have more than one term! If you have a 2nd term, the description is NOT imported! So for example:

The description (the State name) will not be included. Your only alternative is to decide what you want to type in by hand. There is no way to do a 'partial' import or update.

What a pain!


Using Term Set Other Labels

Many of my clients are not familiar with using the term set 'other labels' (a lot of SharePoint Consultants too!). Other labels are a way to allow users enter multiple names as they might know a particular term, but store only the true Term.

For example, assume you have a department called Information Systems Management, it has a department number of 1201 and most everyone calls it simply IT. For search purposes, etc. you decide you want the term 'Information Systems Management' used but some like to use the number and some like to use IT - you'd simply add them as follows:

Now when uploading/entering the field, the user can use any of them - by name:

By number:

By acronym: