A SharePoint feature’s ActivateOnDefault attribute

Lately, I’ve been struggling with a WebApplication scoped feature that was being activated automatically in all web applications I created after the feature was installed in the farm.

I’ve been checking the solution- and feature definitions and code, thinking there were some hidden error, but the solution to the problem is very obvious now that I’ve found it:

The feature element has an ActivateOnDefault attribute, and for WebApplication scoped features, the default value of this is True. Setting this to False is all that it takes, and I’ve regained control of the deployment.

The complete feature element schema can be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms436075.aspx

Thanks to my colleague Joe McPeak for helping out!