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I have a SharePoint 2013 site configured for FBA and Multi Tenancy. In our case, we have a Multi Server Farm, which has a Web Front End, App Server, Search Server, Workflow Server and DB servers. We have custom code to deploy features. We have a web app level feature, which actually creates Custom Diagnostic Areas and Categories. This works fine in our local development environment which is a standalone, but in the multi server farm environment, this feature is not even shown in the Web App Level features. We are not sure, what is going here. Can anyone please suggest, what could be going wrong here.

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Depending on where the Central Administration is hosted (Web Front End or App server), and depending on the target of the WSP package (I'm not talking of the scope of the feature; I'm talking about the "Deployment Server Type" setting of the solution), this may happen.

For example, the features contained in the package are only installed on the Web Front End if the "Deployment Server Type" is set to WebFrontEnd. If you browse the CA hosted on the App Server, it thus does not list features that are not physically installed on that server.

Options to solve this include:

  1. Host the CA on the Web Front End as well, and browse it there to activate the feature.
  2. Switch the WSP mode to ApplicationServer (can be done only if it contains only the Web app feature you're mentioning).
  3. Activate the Web app feature from PowerShell, while logged on the Web Front End (and hope the feature event receiver is well-coded, i.e. does not assume the ER is loaded in a Web context!).
  4. Turn the application server to a WFE (by activating the "SharePoint Foundation Web Application" service on it), even if it's not participating in the load-balancing.
  • Thanks a lot for your helpful response, Evariste. But I have a WFE and an App Server. Also, I have a Web App Level feature packaged along with other Web level features. This Web App Level feature will create a Custom Diagnostic Area and Category. I tried providing the DeploymentServerType attribute with ApplicationServer and WebFrontEnd(not at the same time, though). But, in either case, the web app level feature is not even getting displayed. I tried activating through PS, but the custom diagnostic area and category didn't get created. – Ven Feb 17 '16 at 5:59
  • Finally, we had to turn on the SharePoint Foundation Web Application service on the App Server also. Then we could get it working. Anyway, I am going to mark your reply as answer, since your suggestion was a good pointer. Thank you very much. – Ven Feb 23 '16 at 14:56

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