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Professional SharePoint® 2007 Development by Tom Rizzo, Adam Buenz, J. Dan Attis, Matt Ranlett, Brendon Schwartz, Eli Robillard, Jeff Julian, John Alexander, John Holliday

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4.3. Features

Features could be said to be the most ground-breaking addition to this version of WSS. 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. How many times have you had a need to add a chunk of functionality to an existing server farm, web application, Site Collection, or site, such as an event handler, custom navigation, or maybe even a set of lists or document libraries all at once? An example is a set of lists and libraries combined with workflow and custom navigation that contain the functionality required to enable a certain business process to function within SharePoint. Features make it possible to activate or deactivate functionality in the course of a deployment, and administrators can easily transform the template or definition of a site simply by toggling a particular Feature on or off in the user interface. As noted in the SDK, Features provide the following capabilities:

  • Scoping semantics for determining where custom code runs

  • 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 a Feature within its scope

  • The basis of a unified framework for distributed deployment of WSS v3 solutions

A Feature is implemented by adding a subfolder containing a ...

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