Over the last months we’ve taken many steps towards enabling search-driven publishing for intranet sites in SharePoint Online. We enabled the Content Search Web Part (CSWP), the cross-site publishing feature, and a new group cache that improves the performance of the CSWP.
Now we’ve enabled two features that previously were available only in SharePoint Server 2013—the Taxonomy Refinement Panel Web Part (TRPWP) and faceted navigation.
Introducing the Taxonomy Refinement Panel Web Part
The Taxonomy Refinement Panel Web Part (TRPWP) is similar in both name and functionality to the Refinement Web Part (RWP). With the RWP, visitors can filter content that’s displayed on a page; for example, they can filter to display only items that have the color red. The Taxonomy Refinement Panel Web Part also allows visitors to filter content that’s displayed on a page. But the TRPWP differs from the RWP in two ways: the filters it uses are the categories from the site’s navigation, and it can display category-specific editorial content.
As a site builder, you can use the TRPWP to display content that combines the filtering from a RWP with category-specific editorial content. You can use the TRPWP only on sites that use managed navigation and category pages to display content.
Let’s look at an intranet scenario to see how this works. On the Contoso company’s intranet site, Contoso IT Web, employees can order different IT products.
The Contoso IT Web site builders set up the site to show category-specific editorial content on their category pages. By doing this they can fine-tune the information employees need for each category. In the image below you can see that the editorial content displayed on the Laptops page differs from the content displayed on the Tablets page.
The site also has an RWP that employees can use to filter the content that’s displayed on a page. For example, under the category Computers, they can filter to display only red items (#1 in the image below). When Red is selected from the RWP ,the TRPWP shows the subcategories of Computers that have red items (#2 in the image below).
When employees want to further filter content to show only items from one of the subcategories, for example Laptops, the TRPWP will use the category page that is assigned to the managed navigation term Laptops to display content. The TRPWP also “includes” the filter that the user has selected (Red), so the category-specific editorial content and red laptops are displayed.
Learn more about how to configure the TRPWP.
Introducing faceted navigation
Faceted navigation allows employees to use category-specific filters to narrow down the content that’s displayed on a page. For example, the filters that are available on the Laptops page (#1 on the image below) are different from the filters that are available on the Printers page (#2 on the image below).
You can use faceted navigation only on sites that use managed navigation and category pages to display content. Even though different filters are shown for different categories, content managers do not have to create and maintain one unique page for each category. Content managers configure and maintain faceted navigation in the term store, and apply this configuration to a RWP on a category page.
Learn more about how to configure faceted navigation.
The Taxonomy Refinement Panel Web Part and faceted navigation features are available in the Office 365 Enterprise E3 and Office 365 Enterprise E4 plans, as well as Office 365 Government G3 and G4, Office 365 Education A3 and A4, and Office 365 E3 for nonprofits.
NOTE: These features are only available for private site collections.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Are these features available for public sites?
A. These features are available only for private site collections for intranet/extranet portal scenarios.
Q. Do I need to activate any SharePoint features at the tenant, site collection, or site level to use the TRPWP and faceted navigation?
A. No, you don’t have to activate anything. If you don’t see these features in your site right now, they will automatically become available soon.