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Tridion Sites 9.6 adds in the user interfaces, the ability for Keywords to have multiple parents within a given Category.

Apparently, this reuse was possible in the Content Manager programmatically and reflected in the data model, but it hasn't been exposed in the UIs until Sites 9.6 (where you can set multiple parents in Experience Space and have them visible in Experience Space or the Classic UI).

Consider the following hypothetical hierarchy, where the same set of "regional" Keywords each have the same two parent Keywords.

Example category of partner type with regions nested below

Is it possible to setup a Category for a Schema field text definition so that editors can select a Keyword and its parent? In other words, could an editor select a region for a specific type of partner in the above example?

For example, if the editor selected North America under Technology, is it possible for the Content Manager (and eventually Content Delivery) to know the selection is specifically for "North America > Technology?"

Checking the source, I can only see just one Keyword TCM URI selected. See here where North America is selected in a drop-down as well as from a tree.

<Content xmlns="uuid:172e6b02-c11c-4519-ade3-1a419e0262b6">
<PartnerType xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xlink:href="tcm:2-1611-1024" xlink:title="North America">North America</PartnerType>
<PartnerTypeTree xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xlink:href="tcm:2-1611-1024" xlink:title="North America">North America</PartnerTypeTree>

North America selected for both fields

It seems the multiple parent feature is more about making it easier to find and select a Keyword. I think I'm confusing this with expectations on nested taxonomies on web sites or application. :-)

It'd be great if someone has background on the original use case for multiple parents for Keywords!

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It seems that what you are looking for is combining multiple Categories in an overarching Taxonomy. That is not supported in Tridion Sites.

Well, actually, we originally did take something like that into account. That is why a Category has an AllowedParentCategories property, but this was never surfaced in the UI; it already took more than 15 years before the multiple parents surfaced in the UI! :-)

So what is the use case for multiple parent Keywords? Well, sometimes this is used in Taxonomies in general (although, according to the original definition, a Taxonomy should be a pure tree and not a Directed Acyclic Graph, which is what you get if you give a Keyword multiple parents).

As far as I know, the reason why this is done is to make it easier for users to find things in your Taxonomy. In general, Taxonomies can be tricky to navigate: the user has to be able to make the right decision on each level of the Taxonomy. Especially if you have a deeply nested Taxonomy, a user may not always know which path to take at the higher (more abstract) levels of the Taxonomy. It can help if multiple paths can bring you to the same location.

Also note that PoolParty and the SKOS standard it implements also allows a Concept to have multiple broader Concepts.

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  • Makes sense. +1 and accepted. And wait, there's an AllowedParentCategories property? :-O I was proud of how I knew about multiple Keywords parents, but there's more! Having had a chance to see a thesaurus following SKOS in PoolParty (Taxonomy Space), I can appreciate the use case for a concept having multiple broader concepts (and all its relationships), which would be reflected in a matching external Category in Tridion Sites.
    – Alvin Reyes
    Mar 12 at 6:14

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