Share global navigation between site collections

This article was originally posted on the HANDS ON SharePoint Blog, from our SharePoint Team Lead João Ferreira. Article link.

Managing navigation can be a tedious process, as it generally needs to be performed on a site collection to site collection basis. However, in some scenarios, you may want to share a global navigation between all the site collections belonging to your tenant. 

With the use of Manage Metadata you can create a navigation structure and update it globally to all site collections at once. The steps described below work for both SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-Premises.

Classic SharePoint

Open the Term Store Management Tool

First we need to create the global term store, to reproduce the steps in this article you must be a Term Store Administrator.

SharePoint Online

  1. Sign in to Office 365;
  2. Go to the SharePoint Admin Center;
  3. From the left navigation click on More Features, followed by Term store.

SharePoint On-Premises

  1. Open the Central Administration;
  2. Click on Application Management;
  3. Click on Manage Service Applications;
  4. Locate the Manage Metadata Service and click on it.

Create the Global Navigation

The steps below are the same for SharePoint Online and SharePoint Server.

  1. Click on the root Taxonomy and the click on New Group
  2. Provide a name to the new group e.g. Global Navigation
  3. Click on the newly created group and then click on New Term Set e.g. Navigation
  4. Click on the Intended Use tab
  5. Uncheck the option Available for Tagging
  6. Check the option Use this Term Set for Site Navigation and save the term set
  7. Click on the Term Set and then click Create Term
  8. Click on the Navigation tab
  9. On the Navigation Node Type select Simple Link or Header

Repeat the steps 7 to 9 to create your navigation structure.

Apply the global Navigation to the site collection

Note: If you are not using Publishing sites, to use Manage Metadata Navigation you need first to activate the Publishing features, first at the Site Collection level and then for each subsite where you want the navigation to be visible.
  1. On your site collection go to Site Settings
  2. Clink on Navigation
  3. For the Global Navigation select Managed Navigation
  4. On the Managed Navigation: Term Set click on Create Term Set, this option will create a local term set that will be only available for this site collection.
  5. Click on Term Store Management Tool
  6. Click on the newly created Term Set
  7. Select Pin Term with Children
  8. Expand the global navigation Term Set
  9. Select the Term to add to the navigation

Repeat the steps 7 to 9 to all the navigation items.

Modern SharePoint 

When referring to Modern SharePoint sites and/or pages, the ability to utilize Managed Navigation is, unfortunately, not supported. However, BindTuning's Design (themes) will provide you with that same functionality, by utilizing the built-in BindTuning Settings Panel

Considering we have already created our own Term Set Navigation, as described in the steps mentioned above, we can apply that same navigation by making use of its corresponding navigation ID. To retrieve this same information, follow the steps below: 

Open the Term Store Management Tool

SharePoint Online

  1. Sign in to Office 365;
  2. Go to the SharePoint Admin Center;
  3. From the left navigation click on More Features, followed by Term store.

SharePoint On-Premises

  1. Open the Central Administration;
  2. Click on Application Management;
  3. Click on Manage Service Applications;
  4. Locate the Manage Metadata Service and click on it.

Retrieve your Navigation Unique Identifier

  1. Under your Taxonomy locate the Term Set you're planning to use for your Global Navigation, by expanding its corresponding Node and Parent Term;
  2. Copy the provided Unique Identifier

unique-identifier.png

Apply your Navigation

Now that we have retrieved all the necessary information, we're able to return to our SharePoint site collection, and leverage BindTuning themes, in order to create our Global Navigation.

  1. Access your Modern SharePoint site collection; 
  2. On the ribbon, select BindTuning Settings
  3. Select the Navigation tab;
  4. Under Menu Provider, select the option Term Set;  
  5. In the Term set ID field, paste the Unique Identifier copied from the Term Set.

bindtuning-term-set.png

Now that we have configured one site collection with the navigation we wish to propagate to other sites, we need to navigate to other dependent site collections and proceed with the steps below: 

  1. Access your Modern SharePoint site collection; 
  2. On the ribbon, select BindTuning Settings
  3. Select the Navigation tab;
  4. Under Menu Provider, select the option Dynamic;  
  5. In the Pull navigation from field, select the option Other site;
  6. Pass the full URL for the site collection we have configured above. 

pull-nav.png

 

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