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When we deploy a custom code such as a List Definition with custom forms, we are attaching it into the feature so that upon activation, the list and forms are created.

Going behind the scenes, the List Definition, together with the custom forms, are actually being created in the Features folder found under the hive. Looking at the web application in the IIS, we cannot see any virtual directory that is pointing to the feature folder. So my question is, how do we correlate the feature with the web application?

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Features have a scope. Depending on the scope, you can either have:

for farm solutions:

  1. a feature deployed to the whole farm [scope: Farm]
  2. a feature deployed to one or more web applications (you can check where a feature is deployed to from the Central Admin > System settings > Solution management) [scope: Web application or Site]

  3. a feature globally deployed [scope: Web application or Site and deployed to all web applications, or Web]

for sandboxed solutions:

All the features in the package get deployed to the site collection whose solution gallery you uploaded the solution into. Then, depending on the scope, they will show up under Site collection features [scope: Site] or Site features [scope: Web]

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