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Features

A SharePoint feature is a collection of SharePoint elements that can help to accomplish a particular functionality. Features reduce the complexity involved in making simple site customizations, and are robust when upgrades are applied to a deployment.Definition of a site or a template can be easily transformed by simply toggling a particular Feature on or off in the user interface.

 

For example :- Publishing features of MOSS provide all the required functionality like publishing layouts, lists, pages library, style library etc.

Features make it possible to activate or deactivate functionality.

 

·         Features provide the following capabilities

·         Pluggable behavior for installing or uninstalling Features within a deployment.

·         Pluggable behavior for activating or deactivating features at a given scope.

·         A scoped property bag for storing data required by Features within its scope.

Feature Implementation

All the features in MOSS should be at [WSS]\Template\Features folder.

Each Features sub-folder must include a Feature.xml file that defines the base properties of a Feature and lists of the element manifests associated with it. Element manifests are XML files whose top level <Elements> tag contains definitions for elements that support the Feature.

 

Feature.xml:  Following are the main tags of Feature.xml

 

 Attribute

Required

Description    

Id

Yes

Contains the globally unique identifier (GUID) for the Feature.

Title

No

Title of feature

Description

No

Description of the feature.

Version

No

Version of feature

Scope

Yes

Feature can be scoped at following level.

·          Farm

·          Web Application

·          Site: - Site collection level

·          Web: - Web-Site

Hidden

No

True: - To hide it from UI (Site features)

False: - To display in UI (site features)

ReceiverAssembly

No

Specifies the strong name of the signed assembly located in the global assembly cache from which to load a receiver to handle Feature events

ReceiverClass

No

Specifies the class that implements the Feature event processor.

 Element Manifests: It contains references to element manifests and element files that contain definitions for the Feature elements.

Element Manifest: - Specifies a file that contains a definition for a feature element.

  

Attribute

Required

Description

Location

Yes

Specifies the relative file path to the root element manifest file.

 

ElementFile:  Specifies a support file required for the Feature.

  

Attribute

Required

Description

Location

Yes

Specifies the relative file path to the support file for the feature.

 

Properties: It contains the default values for feature properties.

 

Element manifest file: Following are the element types for feature.

 

Element

Description

ListTemplate

Contains a list definition

ListInstance

Create a List Instance based on some already exist list template.

Field

For creating site columns

Module

Contains the set of files with which to provision sites.

FeatureSiteTemplateAssociation

To associate new Features and functionality with existing site definitions or site templates so that, when sites are provisioned, the Features are automatically included in provisioning.

Receiver

Contains an item event receiver registration.

ContentType

Schema definition which can be reuse and apply to multiple list definition.

 

Install features:  

Installation makes aware the entire front-end web server about the feature definition. Installed Feature will display the Features in the list of available Features.

Before installing feature sub-folder should be present in [WSS]\Template\Features

Where generally

[WSS] = C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extension\12\TEMPLATE\Feature

stsadm –o installfeature –name <Name of feature>

 

Uninstall Feature

stsadm –o installfeature –name <Name of feature>

 

Feature Activation

To use the functionality associated with Feature, it must be activated at required scope.

Suppose a feature is developed for creating a list instance based on default custom list at Web Scope. List instance will be created only if the feature is activated at the required web site.

 

A Feature can be activated in following ways

 

Through the Site Settings Web pages: - Go to “Site settings ->Site Features” to activate a feature.

 

The STSADM command line:-

stsadm –o activatefeature –name <Folder name >

Posted on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 12:06 PM | Back to top


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