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Categories: SharePoint

With the release of SharePoint 2013, Microsoft introduced a new site template called the Product Catalog.  This template uses the Cross-Site Collection Publishing Feature to allow for content to be created in one site collection and consumed by other site collections.  There are numerous blogs that detail how to set up the Product Catalog and how to connect to the Product Catalog from other site collections.

I was recently playing around with these and discovered there are a couple of quirks to be aware of when configuring both the Product Catalog and the connection to the Product Catalog.

Setting up the Product Hierarchy Term Set

One of the steps in setting up the Product Catalog is to set up the Product Hierarchy Term Set.  In the ever-popular Electronics catalog, the Product Hierarchy tends to look like this:

  • Electronics
    • Audio
    • Cameras
      • SLR
      • Digital Cameras
    • Computers
      • Laptop
      • Monitors

Setting up the Term Store then looks like this:

electronic example.png 

The nice thing about the Product Catalog though, is that it doesn't need to be restricted to a catalog of items.  It can be used anywhere that you want to separate content creation and content consumption.  You can enable any list or library to be a catalog.  Let's suppose we wanted to create an Announcements list as a Product Catalog and then connect to this list from a Publishing Site to display the announcements.  And let's suppose that we don't have categories for our Announcements, so there is no hierarchy.  Our "Product Hierarchy" might look like this:

  • Announcement Titles
    • This weekend is a Long Weekend
    • Board of Directors meeting has been scheduled
    • We're moving to the Cloud!

Which would result in a Term Set looking like this:

no root term.png
When we hook up the Publishing Site to the Product Catalog, take a look at the "Navigation Hierarchy" section.  I can't select a "Root Term" because the Root is "Announcement Title"

first connection.png 

The Problem

With this set-up, everything appears to be working great, our Announcements are displaying on our Publishing Site.  But wait and see what happens when we add a new Announcement to our Product Catalog.  It doesn't show up in the Publishing Site, nor does the Announcement Title get pinned to our Navigation Term Set.  Even if we Re-index the Product Catalog and run a Full Crawl.  

The Fix

Let's go back and reconfigure our Announcement Title term set to include a root term:

root term.PNG 

Re-connecting to the Product Catalog

Now let's reconnect the Product Catalog to our Publishing site.  This time we can select the Root term of the hierarchy and we will also include the root term in the site navigation:

second connection.png 

Once we have everything connected we can and add new Announcements to the Product Catalog and they will show up in our Publishing Site.


In order for your Product Catalog to work properly, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The Managed Metadata Term Set that you are using as your Product Hierarchy must have a Root Term.
  2. When you are connecting your publishing site to your Product Catalog you need to check the "Include root term in site navigation" checkbox.