Saturday, July 21, 2012

Features and Solutions in SharePoint 2010

SharePoint 2010 (SharePoint Foundation 2010) which is the later version of WSS 3.0 has something called Features and Solutions. The concept is of course not now to SharePoint but I assume that it is new for the readers.
A SharePoint feature is a collection of SharePoint elements that can help a user accomplish a particular goal or task. Features can also be described as logical groups of elements that together serve a common purpose (Wrox)

Features are units of functionality which have scope, can be installed, activated, uninstalled and or deactivated from your scopes.

Scopes of a feature are
1. Farm
2. Web Application
3. Site
4. Web

A feature can be a list definition, list instance, event handler, custom navigation, a list or document library, custom master page, page layouts, application pages, custom webpart or workflows.

So a feature is a logical grouping which says when I deploy this solution make sure that the items in a feature can be deployed and activated as a single unit because they depend on each other; as I said earlier, its a unit of functionality.

To work with feature activation and deactivation, refer my next post.

A collection of features to be deployed in your SharePoint environment. Also known as WSP (Windows SharePoint Solution Package) which is kind of a installer for SharePoint.

You must be aware of two types of solutions in SharePoint 2010 - Sandboxed and Farm. When you first create your SharePoint projects in Visual Studio your package or your solutions (.wsp) file is dependent of the choice you made earlier while creating your project in Visual Studio.Once you have selected a project deployment type (i.e. farm or sandbox) do not worry, Visual Studio lets you change your decision if needs be.

Similar to features, Solutions too can be installed, activated, deactivated and uninstalled using Visual Studio and PowerShell  (which is introduced in SharePoint 2010 as oppose to MOSS 2007 stsadm)

To work with Solution activation and deactivation, refer to my next post.

While researching about Features and Solutions, I came across a very good post and recommend beginners to read and implement it.

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