Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
The Manage Site
Site features are customizations that extend or modify the existing SharePoint site. Features
can be used for almost anything—something minor such as a change to one of the existing
menu options or something major such as a complete overhaul of SharePoint to provide
ecommerce solutions. Features are typically written by third-party companies to integrate their
software solutions into SharePoint or by helpful developers, many of whom give them away free
over the Web.
At the core of a site feature is a feature.xml file, which tells SharePoint what to do. Each
feature can also contain supporting files (additional XML, ASPX, DLL, or other files) if needed, but
they aren’t required. Many features do everything they need to do in the single feature.xml file.
Everything involved with a feature is tucked away in a named folder that is stored at this path:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\14\TEMPLATE\
Features are usually provided by installation packages called solutions. Solutions can appear
as custom SharePoint installation files (*.wsp). You can find step-by-step instructions for
installing solutions (like additional features) in Chapter 15, “Migrating from WSS 3.0 to Windows
SharePoint Foundation 2010.”
A feature can be scoped to apply at a certain level of a SharePoint farm, be that the entire
farm, per web application, or even per site collection (and therefore can be uploaded to the site
collection’s solutions gallery to be activated there). If a feature has be deployed (at whatever
level it is scoped), that often just makes it available to be activated or deactivated at the site level.