Redirecting User Profile SP ‘Job Titles’ to MMD Term Set

I recently received a call from one of our SharePoint Information Architects who was somewhat puzzled with what they were witnessing within the available ‘Enterprise Keywords’. In addition to a long list of legitimate Keywords which had been made available by virtue of ‘Tagging’, there were thousands of entries which appeared to be linked to the Active Directory attribute ‘Job Titles’. In some cases, these job titles could have been leveraged as useful metadata, but in our case, this was only causing confusion…..and a bit of a mess!

After a little bit of digging, I discovered that, by default, the User Profile ‘SPS-JobTitle’ property is written directly to ‘Keywords’ when a Profile Import from AD takes place, unless you have performed some manual, remapping steps. (Er, yes, this is an out-of-the-box setting and yes, I can’t fathom the logic either!) So, how does this setting manifest itself?

Open Central Administration > Manage Service Applications > User Profile Service Application > People > Manage User Properties

Scroll down to the ‘Job Title’ Property Name and open the ‘Properties’:

As you can see, the ‘Configure a Term Set to be used for this property’ is highlighted, but the ‘Pick a Term Set for this property is left blank. And, as all of these values go directly into ‘Keywords’ and no Term Set is selected, they are set to the SharePoint system default.

So, what are out options, and how do you remove all of the Job-Title properties from Keywords?

Firstly, our approach was to create a ‘never to be used’ Term Set and map this to the property. So, to do this, I go into MMD and create this new Term Set:

Also, remember to uncheck the item ‘Available for Tagging’ to ensure these items don’t appear within your new Term Set when a Full Import from the User Profile Service takes place:

Now, you can go back into the ‘Job-Title’ property and remap accordingly:

Unfortunately, if you have already run a User Profile import before remapping ‘Job-Title’ and therefore have a mountain of unwanted Keywords items you’ll have to either delete them manually (er, that will be fun), write some fancy Powershell, or recreate your Managed MetaData Service. (and just hope the ‘legitimate Keywords are not missed).

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