The service application infrastructure of SharePoint 2010 gives you the ability to create multiple service applications of the same type. At the same time, you are also able to connect most of these service applications to one or more web applications in your farm or even with external farms. This brings you more flexibility with respect to the old shared service provider architecture of SharePoint 2007, however, this also brings more complexity to your overall system architecture.
In this post of the post series “SharePoint 2010: exploring the managed metadata service application” we are going to see how to assign the managed metadata service application to serve one or more web applications contemporarily. In the second part of this post we are going to see what you have to consider when assigning two different managed metadata service applications to the same web application. If you want to know how to create a single managed metadata service application with the central admin or PowerShell, then visit my last post.
Scenario 1: assigning the same managed metadata service application to one or more web applications
The managed metadata service application is typically assigned via a service application proxy and a service application proxy group. Each application proxy group can then be assigned to multiple web applications depending on your needs. You can assign a service application proxy to a web application in different moments of the web application life cycle:
First, an administrator has the ability to define a service application connection during the creation of a new web application. In the configuration wizard of the web application creation you have a section that gives you the possibility to define which proxy group to use for your web application. If you want, you are also able to specify a custom selection of service applications. The next figure shows how this might look like by choosing an already existing proxy group:
The next figure shows what you can do when you are defining a custom binding for this web application with the service applications present in the farm:
On the other side, you can also change the proxy group settings after a web application was already created. You can change these settings by using the central administration:
- Open the central administration
- Application Management –> Configure service application associations
- select the web application that you want to configure (a window pops up similar to the next figure)
- make your changes
Scenario 2: assigning two or more managed metadata service applications to a single web application
In the previous scenario we saw how to assign a service application to multiple web applications. Similarly, you are also able to assign multiple service applications to a single web application. When doing so with a managed metadata service application, however, you have to consider some settings before proceeding.
Imagine that you have to maintain two separate managed metadata service applications for two different departmental projects. You can do this by creating two separate managed metadata service applications and assign them to the corresponding web applications. After a while, you need to combine both service applications for a single web application. You can do this by following the same steps as seen in the previous scenario. Choose the service applications that you want to consume in your web application by selecting a proxy group or defining your custom selections.
You can do this, however, you have to consider following when assigning multiple managed metadata service applications to a single web application:
- both term stores (service applications) with managed terms are available for your web application
- both term stores can provide content-type hub syndication
- the already stored enterprise keywords of both term stores are served to your web application, however, only one term store of both can be your default storage location for your keywords
- the already stored column specific term sets of both term stores are served to your web application, however, only one term store of both can be your default storage location of your column specific term sets
Everything except the storage of enterprise keywords and column specific term sets function properly. This happens if both managed metadata service applications are configured to be the default term stores. You might encounter following error message when inserting a new enterprise keyword:
“The site does not contain a default keywords termstore”
Therefore, plan carefully before separating managed metadata service applications. You have to ensure that only one of both term stores is the default term store for the web application. You can make the changes in the managed metadata service connection settings:
- open the central administration
- Application management –> Manage service applications
- select the row of type Managed Metadata service Connection of your metadata service application
- press Properties in the ribbon bar
- choose This service application is the default storage location for Keywords and This service application is the default storage location for column specific term sets
If you already have a default term store in the farm you will get this error message:
“Warning: Another service application on this farm is already configured as the default. This feature will be disabled if multiple defaults are associated with a single web application.”
Now, it is up to you to ensure that you do not use two default term stores on the same web application. Please note that disabling these settings is a farm wide setting.
With the service application infrastructure of SharePoint 2010 you are able to manage multiple service applications on your farm and assign them to one or more web applications without any problems. This post showed you how to configure one single service application to serve multiple web applications and how to configure multiple managed metadata service applications to a single web application.
Hope this helps,