Do-It-Yourself SharePoint Tools – SPFeatureHider

Features are cheap! Features are good for you! Use features whenever you can!

As SharePoint developers, we hear this mantra all the time and of course, we create tons of features. This is a good thing, as it affords you control and functionality isolation.

In USP Journal Issue 8, I teach a method that relies heavy on using features. A lot. I’ve created solutions from this method where one ends up with hundreds of features just for the initial deployment. Most of these features are completely irrelevant for end users and thus should be hidden.

However, manually hiding hundreds of features take time. Well, at least it does to you or me, but a computer could hide them all within seconds, which I why I’ve written a small program to do just that.

If you’ve read my previous posts regarding SharePoint tools, you’ll see that this tool falls nicely into the ‘create a tool when you need it’ philosophy, just like the SPSiteLister tool.

The SPFeatureHider tool is very simple, but saves me a lot of time. Basically, it will iterate thorough a folder structure, find all feature.xml files, set the Hidden attribute to True and save the file.

A caveat is that the formatting of the feature.xml file is set to standard one-line per element format. There’s probably a way to work around this, but I can’t be bothered right now.

The syntax is simple. Just run

c:\>SPFeatureHider.exe [path]

Where [path] is the root folder where you want to hide all features.

Because of this simple syntax, it’s also easy to add this program to your external tools. Follow the instructions in the SPSiteLister article and add Solution Directory as a parameter, as shown below.


The whole solution is available for download here (20 kb RAR) or here (20 Kb zip).


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Free SharePoint Report Repost: Is SharePoint Right for Your Organization?

I sort of forgot to post this to my blog last week. However, I’ve released a new free report that will give you some key insights when considering whether SharePoint is right for your organization.

The report is targeted at business users and managers who have little or no technical interest.

If you’re on the USPJ mailing list, you can download the report from the free section. If not, you can sign up for the list on the new website for the report,

Let me know what you think. I’m considering expanding these reports and create a similar report for IT professionals and developers who want to know if SharePoint is a viable career path and an end user report explaining to end users what they can expect if the organization implements SharePoint.

However, if people don’t like the first report or gain any value from it, I’m not going to waste your or my time writing any more 🙂

So, chime in, feel free to do so anonymously, in the comment field below.


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