Now that we have the basic concept of a feature, let us
build and deploy one that can be activated. You probably know by now that the
base directory for SharePoint is C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft
Shared\web server extensions\12 on a standard SharePoint install. There are
various names for this directory, and to make it easy for this article we will
call it “12.” I use a small batch file in my path called “12.cmd” that has the
following line: “@call start explorer "C:\Program Files\Common
Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12"” (without the outside
quotes). This makes it very simple to type Start | Run | 12 | <Enter> to
get into the 12 directory. As you look around at various directories and files
you may notice that SharePoint is nothing if not open to use as a guide.
Although I am sure you have also noticed that I did not say easy. None the less,
it is there, and you will find as you progress in your learning that SharePoint
development may not be especially well documented in all cases. Especially
early in your development learning curve, I highly recommend that you locate an
existing component that Microsoft has already constructed, and plagiarize it
for your needs.
As you already know, deploying a feature is almost always
required to get your code out to the SharePoint site and useful to the user. It
is quite true that you can place certain files in a SharePoint environment and
make them work, but in order to influence very powerful functionality, the act
of deploying a feature is usually required.