Creating SharePoint Features

You can use a SharePoint Feature to group related SharePoint project items for easier deployment. You can create Features, set scopes, and mark other Features as dependencies by using the SharePoint Feature Designer. The designer also generates a manifest, an XML file that describes each Feature.

You can add a Feature to the SharePoint solution by using Solution Explorer or the Packaging Explorer. You can use one of the following methods to add a Feature.

  • In Solution Explorer, open the shortcut menu for Features, and then choose Add Feature.

  • In Packaging Explorer, open the shortcut menu for the package, and then choose Add Feature.

A SharePoint solution can contain one or more SharePoint Features, which are grouped under the Feature node in Solution Explorer. Each Feature has its own Feature Designer that you can use to customize the Feature properties. For more information, see How to: Customize a SharePoint Feature.

To distinguish Features from one another, you can configure the Feature properties such as the title, description, version, and scope. For more information, see How to: Modify Feature Properties.

After you create a Feature, you can use the Feature Designer to customize it.

The following table describes the Feature properties that are displayed in the Feature Designer.

Property

Description

Title

Optional. The default title of the Feature is set to SolutionName FeatureName.

Description

Optional. The description of the SharePoint Feature.

Scope

Required. If a Feature is created by using Solution Explorer, the scope is set to Web by default.

Option

Description

Farm

Activate a Feature for an entire server farm.

Site

Activate a Feature for all Web sites in a site collection.

Web

Activate a Feature for a specific Web site.

WebApplication

Activate a Feature for all Web sites in a Web application.

Items in the Solution

All SharePoint Items that can be added to the Feature.

Items in the Feature

The SharePoint project items that have been added to the Feature.

You can select which SharePoint project items that you want to add a SharePoint Feature to for deployment. Use the Feature Designer to add and remove items to Features, and view the Feature manifest. For more information, see How to: Add and Remove Items to SharePoint Features.

You can configure the Feature manifest so that the SharePoint server activates certain Features before your Feature is activated. For example, if your SharePoint Feature depends on other Features for functionality or data, the SharePoint server can first try to activate any of the Features that your feature depends on. For more information, see How to: Add and Remove Feature Dependencies.

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