Using PnP PowerShell to export and import Taxonomy

PnP provides export taxonomy cmdlet which allows to export all term groups, term sets, terms and child terms to a file with one line of code

Connect-SPOnline -Url <siteurl> -CurrentCredentials 
Export-SPOTaxonomy -IncludeID -Path "C:\temp\Metadata\terms.txt"

PnP also provides an equivalent import taxonomy cmdlet to import all term groups, term sets, terms and child terms from a file with one line of code

Connect-SPOnline -Url <siteurl> -CurrentCredentials
Import-SPOTaxonomy -Path "C:\temp\Metadata\terms.txt"

However if IncludeId switch parameter is used with the export, the import would fail if the October 2016 PnP PowerShell release is used.

The error message appears

Import-SPOTaxonomy : Exception on line 5: Failed to read from or write to database. 
Refresh and try again. If the problem persists, please contact the administrator

I decided to enable Trace on the PnP to get debug messages using the Set-SPOTraceLog

  Set-SPOTraceLog -On -Level Debug

Debug messages appear to monitor progress of execution but was not helpful.


I tried to google the message, found out that the error happened as the code is trying to create a term or term set with an unique identifier (GUID)  which already exists in the taxonomy store.

I inspected the taxonomy file exported and found that terms having child terms were wrongly formatted.In the example below the term group EDRMS is repeated 3 times.

EDRMS;#383eab6e-a944-430d-9a18-f8b872322c2c|EDRMS;#383eab6e-a944-430d-9a18-f8b872322c2c|Directorate;#a99db510-121a-407b-87ec-0b4911e59469|EDRMS;#383eab6e-a944-430d-9a18-f8b872322c2c|Directorate;#a99db510-121a-407b-87ec-0b4911e59469|Finance;#fbab08b3-bc7d-4363-a1c4-1f5d4a466b07|Credit and Collections;#0ec6cefe-c92c-4dfe-81d4-1fe56183f8a2

The Export-SPOTaxonomy was wrongly formatting child terms in the export file.

I raised the issue 532 on PnP PowerShell project.

However I was not sure how quick the issue was going to get fixed so decided to debug PnP powershell command  and found that the issue was with the core PnP project . I fixed it with pull request Taxonomy import export which got merged into pull request Fixed issue with subterms not exported correctly when using ExportAll” .

With the PnP PowerShell November 2016 release, you will be able to use PnP to import and export taxonomy.



Create Indexed(Queryable via Search) Web PropertyBag using PnP and PowerShell

PropertyBag set against SharePoint web object can be indexed which means a corresponding crawled property is created by Search. If search managed properties are created against the crawled property (property bag values), custom search display templates can be created to provide a site directory solution.

The post by Phil Harding Set a PropertyBag Property as Indexed (Queryable via Search) using CSOM + Powershell   describes how to create an indexed property on premises using the collection “IndexedPropertyKeys”.


However with CSOM, the collection “IndexedPropertyKeys” is not present. Indexed property can be added to another property instead “vti_indexedpropertykeys”.  Phil provided the following code how to add an indexed property.

Fortunately with SharePoint PnP, the indexed property can be added using one line of code.

Set-SPOPropertyBagValue -Key "EDRMS_Usage" -Value "Collaboration" -Indexed