Wednesday, December 20, 2006

WSS 3.0-Feature FrameWork

Microsoft WSS 3.0 is a new and totally revamped version of WSS 2.0 contains number of new enhancement one of which is "New feature framework". So what is New feature fame work well according to Microsoft it is the new model for defining templates for Windows SharePoint Services sites. It helps you to define lists and other features, such as menu items, by including sub folders in the site definition structure Developing site definitions by implementing features gives us a greater degree of control, flexibility, and reusability than the site definition model for previous versions of Windows SharePoint Services. Previously each list definition was defined inside the context of a single site definition. In Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, each list definition can have its own feature. Features also offer a modular approach because they do not define the entire blueprint for a site. The feature framework also improves the manageability of Windows SharePoint Services sites. In Previous version there is no mechanisms present for modifying site definitions and then applying those changes to existing sites. Now in new version features can be activated or deactivated on an existing site. For example, you can create a feature that defines a custom list type, an instance of that list type, and an event handler or a workflow on that list instance. After the feature has been installed on the server or Web farm, it can be activated in any site. Feature activation can be done from following ways:
  • By Windows SharePoint Services user interface.
  • By command line.
  • Writing custom code by using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 object model.

If a site no longer requires a specific feature, it can be deactivated.

After reading this you will be thinking that what is feature in terms of WSS.3.0. Well according to Microsoft a feature is a set of elements that help a user to accomplish a particular goal or task. For example, you can create a feature called My Favorite Links that is used to store a list of links on a per-user basis. The feature might include:

  • A custom list for storing the links.
  • A custom menu item, labeled Add to Favorites, that is attached to the menus of all links in the site. When clicked, the menu item will add the link to the favorites list.
  • A Web Part that renders the user’s top 10 favorite links, based on usage and link tracking.

Each of these pieces of functionality is an element. Elements are not typically useful on their own, but they are packaged together to form a useful feature that adds functionality to a Windows SharePoint Services site.

You can create features for any of the following levels in the Windows SharePoint Services hierarchy:

  • Web Application
  • Farm
  • Site Collection
  • Site

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