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I'm confused about SharePoint Solutions. Could you verify if my understanding is correct?

There are only 2 kinds of SharePoint Solutions:

  1. Sandboxed Solutions: When a solution package is deployed to the solution store of a site collection, it is called a 'sandboxed solution'. (Source)

  2. Farm Solutions: When a solution package is deployed to the farm's solution store, it is called a 'farm solution'. (Source)

Creating a Site Template always saves the site as a Sandboxed Solution (.wsp). Installing a Sandboxed Solution can be done using PowerShell commands:

  1. Add-SPUserSolution
  2. Install-SPUserSolution

A requirement to adding and installing the Site Template Solution (= Sandboxed Solution) requires the SharePoint Service "SharePoint Foundation Sandboxed Code Service" (SPUserCodeV4) to be active on at least 1 server.

It is not possible to add and activate the Site Template Solution without the Sandboxed Code Service being active on at least one server in the farm.

When a Sandboxed Solution is added, it can be found in the Site Collection Solution Gallery.

Questions being:

  • Are there only 2 kinds of SharePoint Solutions?
  • Does the SharePoint Foundation Sandboxed Code Service" (SPUserCodeV4) have to be active on at least one server in order to add and activate a sandboxed solution?
  • On what server(s) should the SharePoint Foundation Sandboxed Code Service" (SPUserCodeV4) be active?
  • Creating a Site Template using "Save Site as Template" always creates a Sandboxed Solution (.wsp). Never a Farm Solution.
  • Is there a way for me to see what kind of solution I am dealing with based on the .wsp file?
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Are there only 2 kinds of SharePoint Solutions?

yes, but since SP 2013 we could count the APPs as a separate solution type as well

Does the SharePoint Foundation Sandboxed Code Service" (SPUserCodeV4) have to be active ...

yes

On what server(s) should...Code Service" (SPUserCodeV4) be active?

I would suggest on the front end

"Save Site as Template" always creates a Sandboxed Solution...

it creates a site template in solution store, that's right, but you could use this template in a farm solution as well. So I would say in this case the container where site templates and sandbox solutions are stored in is the same.

way for me to see what kind of solution

one possible way to detect farm solutions:

  1. make a copy of the wsp file and rename its ending to "cab"
  2. open the cab file (usually by Windows Explorer - cab files are like zip archives)
  3. search for manifest.xml and open it
  4. if you find DeploymentTarget="GlobalAssemblyCache" it's definitely a farm solution
  • If I have 2 Web Servers, should I enable the SharePoint Foundation Sandboxed Code Service (SPUserCodeV4) on both servers, or only on 1? Or should this be activated on the Application Server? – TempaC Jan 20 '16 at 10:43
  • 2
    quoted from technet.microsoft.com: "Enable sandboxed solutions on every application server on which you want to run sandboxed solutions." – Celophysis Jan 20 '16 at 14:35

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