Share via

Feature Element (Feature)

Applies to: SharePoint Foundation 2010

Defines a Feature to activate or deactivate at a specified scope.

  ActivateOnDefault = "TRUE" | "FALSE"
  AlwaysForceInstall = "TRUE" | "FALSE"
  AutoActivateInCentralAdmin = "TRUE" | "FALSE"
  Creator = "Text" 
  DefaultResourceFile =  "Text"
  Description = "Text" 
  Hidden = "TRUE" | "FALSE"
  Id = "Text"
  ImageUrl = "Text"
  ImageUrlAltText = "Text"
  ReceiverAssembly = "Text"
  ReceiverClass = "Text"
  RequireResources = "TRUE" | "FALSE"
  Scope = "Text"
  SolutionId = "Text"
  Title = "Text"
  UIVersion = "Text"
  Version = "Text" >





Optional Boolean. TRUE if the Feature is activated by default during installation or when a Web application is created; FALSE if the Feature is not activated. This attribute equals TRUE by default. The ActivateOnDefault attribute does not apply to site collection (Site) or Web site (Web) scoped Features.

In general, Farm-scoped Features become activated during installation, and when a new Web application is created, all installed Web application-scoped Features in it become activated.


Optional Boolean. TRUE if the Feature is installed by force during installation even if the Feature is already installed. For example, if set to TRUE, Feature deployment event handlers will always fire anytime a user tries to install the Feature (even if it is already installed) by using either the scanforfeatures or installfeature command-line operation. This attribute equals FALSE by default. The AlwaysForceInstall attribute affects Features of all scopes.


Optional Boolean. TRUE if the Feature is activated by default in the Administrative Web site, site collection, or Web application. This attribute equals FALSE by default. The AutoActivateInCentralAdmin attribute does not apply to Farm-scoped Features.


Optional Text.


Optional Text. Indicates a common resource file for retrieving Feature XML resources. If you do not specify a resource in the file, SharePoint Foundation looks by default in %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\14\TEMPLATES\FEATURES\FeatureName\Resources\Resources. Culture.resx. However, if you want to provide a shared core resource file for all the Features in your application, you can specify an alternate file through which to access resources by using DefaultResourceFile. For example, if you set DefaultResourceFile="MyFile", SharePoint Foundation looks in %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\14\Resources\MyFile. Culture.resx to retrieve localized resources for your Feature.


Optional String. Returns a longer representation of what the Feature does.


Optional Boolean. This attribute equals FALSE by default.


Required Text. Contains the globally unique identifier (GUID) for the Feature.


Optional Text. Contains an URL relative to the /_layouts/IMAGES directory for an image to use to represent the Feature in the user interface (UI).


Optional Text. Contains the alternate text for the image that represents the Feature.


Optional Text. If set along with ReceiverClass, specifies the strong name of the signed assembly located in the global assembly cache from which to load a receiver to handle Feature events.


Optional Text. If set along with ReceiverAssembly, specifies the class that implements the Feature event processor.


Optional Boolean. TRUE to specify that SharePoint Foundation check whether resources exist for the Feature by verifying that the standard "sentinel" resource for the Feature is present for a particular culture.

The resource file is named according to the format <Feature Directory>\Resources\Resources. <Culture Name>.resx, where <Culture Name> is the name that identifies the culture. SharePoint Foundation supports the following formats for culture names:



Culture name examples:

en-US English (United States)

de-DE German (Germany)f

fr-FR French (France)

ja-JP Japanese (Japan)

sr-Latn-CS Serbian (Latin, Serbia)

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) language tag format is ll(l)-Ssss-CC, where:

  • ll(l) denotes the required two-letter language identifier (or three-letter if there is no ISO two-letter code for the language).

  • Ssss denotes an optional script identifier.

  • CC denotes an optional region identifier.

The RequireResources attribute allows you to constrict the visibility of certain Features depending on whether resources exist in a particular language for the Feature.

SharePoint Foundation does not use the file specified by the DefaultResourceFile attribute, if there is one, as a backup file for verifying support of a particular language for a feature.

If the file is not present for the language of a particular Web site or site collection, then two behaviors can occur:

  • The Feature will be hidden from the user interface for activation of Features in the Web site or site collection if the corresponding resources for the language are not available.

    Keep in mind that the RequireResources attribute is enforced in the user interface only. A Feature without resources for a particular language can still be activated for a Web site through command line operations with stsadm.exe or through the object model.

    SharePoint Foundation does not enforce RequireResources for Features that are part of a larger site definition. If you supply, for example, a Thai version of a site definition by putting a webtempThai.xml in %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\14\TEMPLATE\1054\XML, you must verify that each Feature contained in the folder has the appropriate resources.

  • In general, SharePoint Foundation ensures that user interface extension components of the Feature do not show up in Web sites that do not have resources, but there are exceptions. Even if you do a careful job of setting RequireResources and not deploying site definitions unless all Features have resources in them, Features can still show up in sites where resources are not available.

    As an example scenario, assume that you have a custom Feature with resources for two languages that provides custom toolbar buttons and site settings links, and that you have provisioned a new site collection with a root Web site in one of the languages. Then, after downloading and installing the language pack for a third language, you provision a new subsite in this third language under the original root Web site. If RequireResources is not set to TRUE, the custom Feature will attempt to fall back and use fallback resources (in other words, those defined as Resources\Resources.resx, with no culture.)  If there are no fallback resources, SharePoint Foundation will render empty strings. However, if RequireResources is set to TRUE, user interface extension components of the Feature (for example, those defined through a CustomAction, ListTemplate, or FeatureSiteTemplateAssociation element) will not show up in subsites if no resources are available, so that the custom links and site settings will be automatically hidden.

Setting this attribute only applies to activating Features through the user interface, and not through STSADM.EXE command-line operations or the object model.


Required Text. Specifies the scope in which the Feature can be activated and contains one of the following values: Farm (farm), WebApplication (Web application), Site (site collection), Web (Web site). For information about scope, see Element Scope.


Optional Text. Specifies the solution to which the Feature belongs.


Optional Text. Returns the title of the Feature. Limited to 255 characters.


Optional Text. Specifies the user interface (UI) version for this Feature. UIVersion is specified in multiple ways.

  • =# - the site’s UIVersion must be equal to #.

  • <# - the site’s UIVersion must be less than #.

  • ># - the site’s UIVersion must be greater than #.

  • <=# - the site’s UIVersion must be less than or equal to #.

  • >=# - the site’s UIVersion must be greater than or equal to #.

  • #;# - the site’s UIVersion must be in the semicolon-delimited list of numbers.


Optional Text. Specifies a System.Version-compliant representation of the version of a Feature. This can be up to four numbers delimited by decimals that represent a version.

Child Elements

ActivationDependencies, ElementManifests, Properties, UpgradeActions Element (Feature)

Parent Elements



SharePoint Foundation supports only low-order ASCII characters, and no spaces, for Feature folder and file names.


For an example of how this element is used, see Feature.xml Files.