Cascading/Filtered dropdowns is the most required feature for SharePoint 2007 users which is not available by OOTB (out-of-the-box-). There are many third party custom features available to provide this functionality for cascading the metadata values from one to many levels. Most of you aware of Data cogs solution for the same. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not introduced the cascading functionality out-of-the-box in SharePoint 2010 as well. However, using managed metadata feature and metadata taxonomy /enhanced lookup columns, we can simulate the similar behavior. But this is only a workaround since user has to drill down the taxonomy tree view to select the appropriate cascaded/filtered value. In this article I am going explain the hierarchical functionality using managed metadata.
What is Managed Metadata?
Managed metadata is a hierarchical collection of centrally managed terms that you can define, and then use as attributes for items in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. A term is a word or a phrase that can be associated with an item and term sets are collection of related terms in SharePoint Server 2010.
SharePoint Server 2010 includes the Term Store Management Tool, which you can use to create and manage term sets. A user requires appropriate permissions to use the term store management tool.
Example: You can create a term set for Finance department which includes metadata related to Country, State, City and Financial Institution etc.
Using the above mentioned metadata taxonomy we can easily achieve the metadata hierarchical functionality in other way around by drilling down the tree view to appropriate metadata value.To use the above mentioned taxonomy, create a new site column or list of type Managed Metadata. I am creating a list column to simulate the hierarchical functionality in a list.
Configure Cascading functionality with SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata service:
I have created a new list called “Finance Contacts” and added Country, State, City and Financial Institution columns to it. Using the managed metadata columns, I am able to filter lookup values.
Here are the steps to create cascaded lookups using SharePoint 2010 managed metadata taxonomy in a list.
1. Navigate to your SharePoint site and create a new custom list (In my example “Finance List”). Click List Settings on ribbon menu.
2. In the list settings page, under Columns section, click “Create Column”.
3. In the create column page, Type the name and description for the column and select the column type as “Managed Metadata”.
4. In the Term Set Settings section, select the Country Term set from the Finance Documents term store.
7. Follow the same steps 2 through 6 to create other columns State, City and Financial Intuition.