Using the managed metadata service with SharePoint 2010, is it possible to synchronize term sets across different farms (or to export an existing term set to CSV so it can be imported on another farm)?

9 Answers 9


Does http://termsetimporter.codeplex.com/ help you?

You can try http://metadataexportsps.codeplex.com/ also


Maybe you would find this helpful:


To be honest you could probably knock up a PowerShell script to extract a termset using the object model fairly quickly - but if this works then why reinvent the wheel.


We recently moved our term set from test to production simply by attaching the managed metadata database on our production site and moving it along with our content database.

The reason this approach was chosen was, that the users had already starting filling in content in the test environment. Be aware that any import/export solution like the one on codeplex will detach any existing term usage on the content database. For example if you use the taxonomy to tag up documents, the data will stay after migrating the content database, but if you just import the existing terms rather than move the taxonomy database, the items on the documents will be read-only since the lists/TaxonomyHiddenList wont be able to identify the "new" terms as they have completely different GUIDS than the original terms.

Note that this is only an issue if you move both content database and terms from one farm to another, not if you move it to a clean content database that doesnt use the terms yet!

Remember to point to existing taxonomy database when creating a new service application http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc263299.aspx

  • This is the process we use, bring down both databases and then relink the Term Store URL to the local environment after attaching both databases. Works great for us!
    – MichaelF
    Commented Apr 19, 2011 at 14:26

Another possible approach (with source code) here: Exporting taxonomies from a Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Term Store


Have a look at MatchPoint for SharePoint. It provides a TermImporter with various sources like Sql databases, Active Directory, SharePoint lists or any other custom source and it even keeps the managed metadata synchronized.


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    – Alex Angas
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 22:52

Yes, using 3rd party tools like Taxonomy Manager for SharePoint 2010:

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You can try here: http://www.layer2.de/en/products/Pages/Taxonomy-Manager-SharePoint-2010.aspx

Thanks, Frank


Yes. You can use a SharePoint Add-In like ServiceAware Term Store Sync to do either manual or scheduled synchronization. There is support for both SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online in Office365.

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You can download a fully functional free 30-days trial from http://www.serviceaware.com/Product/Download


Charlotte, ServiceAware


By far the best free Sharepoint powershell tool to do this is by Gary Lapoint (installed as .wsp package): http://www.falchionconsulting.com/PowerShellViewer/Default.aspx?Version=SP2013&Cmdlet=Export-SPTerms http://www.falchionconsulting.com/PowerShellViewer/Default.aspx?Version=SP2013&Cmdlet=Import-SPTerms

Export is in a convenient XML format where one can bulk find and replace the term owner="domain\farmer" with owner="" blank. Then import into any farm.


The really easy way to do this would be to share the service between Farms. My preference is to maintain the "REAL" one of Production and use it over on Development by creating a Managed Metadata Service Proxy on Development.. That way it's transparent and any of the odd bits that you can use on a term in SharePoint 2013+ are automatically carried over...

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