Managed navigation is a new feature in SharePoint 2013 that enables us to create SharePoint site collection’s navigation from managed metadata. Managed navigation is consistent within the site collection, So that when you need to update the hierarchy, you update it once for the entire site collection and every site automatically updates its navigation.

Managed Navigation in SharePoint also provides Friendly URLs
We can show content from any complex URLs, different locations. But the end-users even won’t actually know where the actual content is stored. URLs will be rewritten to a friendly format and presented to end-users. E.g. while the actual page lives under http://sharepoint.crescent.com/aboutus/Sitepages/Home.aspx, in Friendly URLs the address bar can set to: http://sharepoint.crescent.com/about-us/overview

So, Friendly URLs give the flexibility of how you want your site organized and optimizes your URLs for SEO without changing the structure of your site.

How to Enable Managed Navigation in SharePoint 2016?

Let’s configure managed metadata navigation in SharePoint 2013 or 2016 in just two steps:

  1. Create the navigation structure in either Global (from Central Admin) or Local term store (from site collection)
  2. Edit the site collection’s Navigation settings to use the navigation created in term store.

Step 1: Create Managed Navigation Structure in SharePoint 2013:
We need to define the Managed Metadata term set that will be used for navigation. So, let’s start creating a new Term Group called “Global Top Navigation” from Central Administration. You can also create it as “Local Term Store” from Site Settings >> Term store management under Site administration.

Configure Site Navigation to use Managed Metadata:

  1. Go to the root web of the site collection >> Site Settings  >> Click on the “Navigation” link under Look and Feel (You need to have Publishing Feature activated first to get the “Navigation” link!) navigation link in site settings
  2. In the Global and Current Navigation settings, You can choose the “Managed Navigation” menu
    set managed navigation
  3. Choosing it enables you to reuse an existing term set or create a new one to represent your site;  Under the Managed Navigation Term Set, Specify the Term set we created earlier. sharepoint 2013 managed navigation term set

That’s all! Here is the output:

sharepoint 2013 managed metadata navigation

That’s all! We are done setting up managed navigation in SharePoint 2013.

Consistent top navigation across multiple site collections:
Unfortunately, Only one site collection can use a particular term set for Managed Navigation! Managed Navigation is limited to the current Site Collection and cannot be used across multiple Site Collections.

So, Its not possible to share the Navigation Term sets on different site collections to establish a global navigation across site collections.  If you try to use the same set on multiple site collections, you will get the following message:
the selected term set is already used by another site
If you continue and browse back to the site that used the original term set, you will receive an in-line error stating:

Error loading navigation: The Managed Navigation term set is improperly attached to the site. (Correlation ID: c0c8579c-d8aa-d07a-0000-015700cba279)
Error loading navigation the managed navigation termset is improperly attached to the site

Managed navigation across Site Collections: Solutions

  1. Use a delegate control to replace the standard Global navigation.
  2. Create Copies of Navigation Term set: You can PIN the term set to another one, So that the changes will be replicated, and you can specify different term sets with same nodes on each site collections. This works when you have very few site collections.
  3. Another alternate would be: copying terms to each site collection from Global term store (No worries, PowerShell can help here, I’ll post one soon)

Security Trimming & audience targeting in SharePoint 2013 managed navigation:
Another limitation to note:  Managed Navigation neither provides Security Trimming nor audience targeting! I used to create a custom navigation provider to establish consistent top navigation for all site collections in SharePoint 2010/2007 versions.

Managed Navigation order: From the “Custom Sort” tab, You can sort Metadata terms.

sharepoint 2013 managed navigation order

Overview of managed navigation in SharePoint Server 2013: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn194311.aspx

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