SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata Column limitation – Error 81020030

The Short Story:

There is an undocumented (as of this writing) limitation to SharePoint 2010’s managed metadata columns: they only allow ~250 entries into one column, for one item.  If you exceed this limit, you’ll most likely get this error:

<nativehr>0x81020030</nativehr><nativestack></nativestack>The URL 'SitePages/Test Page.aspx' is invalid.  It may refer to a nonexistent file or folder, or refer to a valid file or folder that is not in the current Web.

ManagedMetadataErrorMessage

We haven’t identified a workaround yet, but we opened a ticket with Microsoft to see what they might come up with.

The Long Story:

You may be asking why in the world a user would need to enter more than 250 values into a Managed Metadata column.  If so, you’re apparently not alone since Microsoft seems to have thought the same thing.

Well, I’m currently consulting at a retailer where they have a system that publishes information to a portal that associates (employees) in the stores then read.  In my experience, this is a common practice in the retail industry.  Anyway, my client wants to publish information to specific stores.  The solution that the team came up with was to populate the managed metadata term store with our store hierarchy (zones, regions, districts, stores).  This gives our store operations group in corporate a great user interface in order to select any part of this hierarchy and target the content.

However, we noticed that when we started pasting in longer lists of stores (which is a common sense requirement by our end users), that SharePoint would give us this error when we clicked save on our item.

Recreating the error

To recreate the error, perform the following steps:

  • Create a term store hierarchy with more than 250 choices – I created one with just numbers, using Excel to quickly generate a file that can be imported to the term store
  • Create a managed metadata column in a list – it doesn’t matter what type of list it is
  • Now, create an item and add more than 250 choices into the managed metadata column
  • Save your changes --- BOOM – error!

Now, if you're like me and you do a copy-n-paste shortcut in order to enter the 250 values, then you may notice another issue: depending on the performance of your SharePoint server, you may get a JavaScript time out while SharePoint tries to verify that each value you entered is in fact a value in the managed metadata term store.  I noticed this when I tried to paste more than 150 values in, but that’s probably got more to do with the performance of my virtual machine than anything.

Solutions / workarounds?

The team is currently looking into workarounds, and all of them require a good bit of coding.  At this point, my advice will be to avoid the managed metadata based solution if you’re possibly going to be crossing the 250 values limit.

Print | posted @ Sunday, May 22, 2011 9:37 PM

Comments on this entry:

Gravatar # re: SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata Column limitation – Error 81020030
by Sergey Tihon at 7/26/2011 1:16 PM

Do you have any answer from Microsoft or workaround?

I can provide a bit more information about this:
http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sharepoint2010programming/thread/1a5a55e5-58d8-4949-ae20-84b73aa6a361

It is not one column limitation, it's item limitation. Total number of terms assigned to one item could not exceed 250 values limit.
Even when we assign terms into different TaxonomyFields and update each time, we will be crashed when total number of terms exceed this limit. During item update SharePoint generate such request that provide too many parameters to RPC requst.
Gravatar # re: SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata Column limitation – Error 81020030
by Kelly D. Jones at 7/30/2011 10:55 AM

Unfortunately, the work around was to redesign the solution, avoiding the managed metadata column. Still no word if Microsoft is going to change this in a future update.
Gravatar # re: SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata Column limitation – Error 81020030
by Anders Rask at 11/30/2011 4:19 AM

The exact limit seems to be 256 (byte). When I add item no 257 i get the above error.
Gravatar # re: SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata Column limitation – Error 81020030
by Kelly D. Jones at 11/30/2011 8:24 AM

When I was testing this it varied, but I think that was due to the size of the individual values.
Gravatar # re: SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata Column limitation – Error 81020030
by Deepak Semwal at 5/29/2012 2:13 AM

Hi, I am also facing the same issue in my environment can you please let me know whether u got any update from MS ? How to resolve this issue ?
Gravatar # re: SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata Column limitation – Error 81020030
by Kelly D. Jones at 7/25/2012 9:09 PM

No, I hadn't heard back before my project was finished with that client.
Gravatar # re: SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata Column limitation – Error 81020030
by Keren Slavik at 6/4/2013 6:24 AM

Hi, this is a well known issue, the error provides information regarding the notes limit BUT it sometime happens when there are corrupted columns, you have to do an elimination process of the corrupted columns. until you find the corrupted column, after you erase it, the issue will go away. if not then sometimes the XML definition is missing a critical attribute - the ResultType attribute, try adding it to the XML definitions and it should solve the entire issue, hopes this helps.
Gravatar # John
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