Where are my SharePoint features?
On several occasions colleagues and some of my blog readers asked me questions about how to locate a particular SharePoint (WSS v3 or MOSS 2007) feature. In most cases the feature was placed correctly in the FEATURES folder in the 12 hive, but they couldn't find it in the SharePoint UI thus they were not able to activate it. Since this happened more than three times it calls for a good old blog post. In this post I am going to write about the different types of features and how to access them from the SharePoint UI.
Let's assume you already deployed your feature using either a SharePoint solution or by using stsadm -o installfeature -filename [feature folder]feature.xml . The feature files are located in the folder ..\12\TEMPLATES\FEATURES\[your feature name]\. So you followed the SDK or the sample and it looks like all is fine until you open the Site Features page of your target web site and the feature is not listed there. What's going on?
It all depends on what is the scope of your feature. There are four feature scopes, which deploy the feature on four different levels in the farm hierarchy and as a result are managed from different web pages within the site settings and the SharePoint Central Administration.
The Site scope installs the feature on a site collection level, which makes it available only on the Site Collection Features page accessible from the Site Actions menu. This menu however is only available for the root site of a site collection and is not displayed in the sub sites, which is a typical source of confusion.
The Web scope installs the feature on every web site including the root of the site collection in the Site Administration section as shown above.
The next scope level is WebApplication. These features are applied to all sites in all site collections of the web application and they can be activated and deactivated from Central Administration > Application Management > Manage Web Application Features.
Finally the features with the Farm scope are are accessible from Central Administration > Operations > Managers Farm Features.
No more lost features...