Find faulty FeatureDefinitions and cleanly uninstall them. Find feature remainders in sites, SiteCollections, WebApps and in the Farm, caused e.g. by forcefully uninstalled Features from a farm without deactivating them before. These faulty features, never visible, cause errors. The FeatureAdmin is able to identify them and remove them.
Also, uninstall, (bulk) deactivate or (bulk) activate features with any scope farm wide. Ideal, for activating or deactivating features in large farms with many sites and/or SiteCollections.
You need to have dbOwner rights to the SharePoint Configuration database and to every content database, you would like to cleanup, activate or deactivate features on. Additionally, this tool needs to run locally on a SharePoint Instance. If you use the “find faulty feature” functionality, it will parse through the whole farm.
Feature View – remove Features
Feature Definition View – activate or uninstall Features
The Problem, that triggered development of this tool:
After doing Solution Package based deployment for a while, I found out, that ‘stsadm -o upgradesolution’ is not supported, when features are added / removed. (see article about this http://sharepointtipoftheday.blogspot.com/2009/06/solution-feature-upgrading-and.html) Also, I had some cases, where Features had forcefully been uninstalled from a farm without deactivating them first in all Sites / SiteCollections / WebApps or in the Farm.
All this has caused errors and left overs in the Farm, e.g. it was not possible to open the WorkFlow Overview page in several SiteCollections, because it was complaining about missing Features. Also, when doing exports, you might run in the error: FatalError: Failed to compare two elements in the array.
Roots of the Feature Admin Tool
I found the Faulty Feature Tool from “Steven Van de Craen”, at http://www.moss2007.be/blogs/vandest/archive/2008/04/28/stsadm-o-export-fatalerror-failed-to-compare-two-elements-in-the-array.aspxwhich solved some of my problems. It was very basic and I needed it for a lot more.
‘Features’ of the FeatureAdmin Tool
- List features and feature definitions
- Search for faulty features in the farm and remove them cleanly if wanted
- Uninstall feature Definitions from the farm, even if faulty
- When uninstalling a feature, FeatureAdmin provides an option to deactivate this feature in the entire farm before uninstalling it!
- can also simply activate or deactivate features with any scopein the whole farm, in only a Web Application, only within a SiteCollection or in a Site (SPWeb)
- Web Apps are parsed automatically, after selecting one, all Site Collections in the Web App are shown
- When selecting a SiteCollection, all sites (webs) are listed automatically.
- logging information is shown (e.g. change of selections, features added or removed)
- Features and Feature Definitions are sorted (first after scope and then) after name
- The FeatureAdmin window and all internal windows are resizeable (starting with version 2.1)
Most useful are two buttons:
Button ‘Find Faulty Feature in Farm’ With this one click, you can check, if there are any errors in any Feature Collections (Farm, WebApplication, Site or Web) in your farm. If this runs through the farm and tells you “No errors found”, all your farm’s feature collections are clean. (If it finds a faulty feature of scope Web or Site, you can browse in the left window to it and see the errors in the Register of the Site and Web Features (yellow). Once, it finds a faulty feature, you can let it be deactivated in / removed from the whole farm.
Button ‘Uninstall’Functionality regarding Feature Definitions. Feature definitions can also cause errors in a farm. Before you Uninstall feature definitions, you are asked, if you want to first deactivate the feature everywhere in the farm. If the Feature Definition is corrupt, and not even the Feature scope can be retrieved, logic was added that checks all FeatureCollections in the farm for this Feature, before it gets uninstalled.
FeatureAdmin for SharePoint 2010 and MOSS 2007
In version 2.0, the feature admin was available for SP 2010 and MOSS 2007. Newer versions are planned to be only maintained for SP2010.
The feature admin is available for SP 2010 and for MOSS 2007. The version for MOSS 2007 runs on WSS 3.x as well. The version for SP 2010 should also run on SharePoint Foundation Services.