Standardize Document Templates across Site Collections via Content Type Hub 

Tags: IT Pro, How To, Admin, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, Taxonomy

Here are steps for creating and maintaining a SharePoint content type hub with associated document templates for use across your SharePoint farm using out-of-the-box functionality. This allows an enterprise to ensure the latest standardized forms are used when creating new documents.

Getting Started

These are the steps for SharePoint 2010 and are similar for SharePoint 2013.

  1. Create a new site collection for the content type hub using a team site template.
    1. To conserve resources, I recommend a site collection from managed path like /sites/cth (i.e., not the root) on an existing web application, but you can use the root site collection and / or a new web application if you have special needs.
    2. Do not use a Blank site template as this does not have the features needed.
  2. In the new CTH site collection,
    1. Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Collection Administration - Site Collection Features
      1. Activate "Content Type Syndication Hub"
    2. Copy the path to your content type hub to your clipboard, e.g., http://SharePoint/sites/cth
  3. Central Admin settings
    1. Central Admin > Application Management - Manage service applications > Managed Metadata Service > Ribbon – Service Applications > Properties
      1. Paste the URL from the clipboard from above, e.g., http://SharePoint/sites/cth
      2. Click report syndication import errors.
      3. Ok
      4. From the list of service applications click "Managed Metadata Service Connection" > Properties > "Consumes content types from the …" checkbox
    2. Alternatively, if the Manage service applications does not exist
      1. Create it
      2. Paste the CTH site created above into the "Content Type hub" text box
      3. Start the service from CA > System Settings – Manage services on server > Managed Metadata Web Service – Start
      4. Start the IIS SharePoint Web Services application pool
      5. May also need IISReset before the connection can be accessed.
    3. Optional: run timer jobs immediately for Content Type Hub and Content Type Subscriber: CA > Monitoring > Timer Jobs - Review Jobs
  4. Add information architecture to the CTH site collection
    1. Create site columns as needed
    2. As part of creating site content types
      1. Set the document template.
        This step is optional and applies only to document content types. When this step is done, any subscribing site collections' document libraries that have this content type associated will open this document from the New Document dropdown from the document library ribbon.
        1. In the Site Content Type Settings click Advanced Settings
        2. In the Document Template section, click the "Upload a new document template" radio button > Browse > Open the template for this content type > Ok
          Note the "Enter the URL of an existing document template:" check box and text box for the document template does not promote the document template to the subscribing sites.
      2. In the Site Content Type Settings, click "Manage publishing for this content type" > Publish radio button > Ok
  5. Subscribe
    1. As long as the Web Application use the same Metadata Service Application the content type hub is using, it can receive the content types from the hub. Note that you may set up different content type hubs for different web applications.

Editing a Content Type's Document Template

If a template changes, make the change once in the content type hub and republish. In a few minutes, the latest template is available on the subscribing sites.

  1. Navigate to the content type's advanced settings page
    1. To edit in place, click (Edit Template)
    2. To upload a new template, use "Upload a new document template:"
    3. From the Content Type settings page, click "Manage publishing for this content type" and then Ok to republish the content type.

Shooting Blanks

  • Beware. SharePoint's Blank site template does not activate the feature required to host or subscribe to a CTH. You can use PowerShell or stsadm to activate the feature.
Posted by AndyGett on 19-Nov-13
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