I know: Farm and Sandbox features still exist in SP 2013 (with improvements even) but they aren’t compatible with the SharePoint App Store, and the SP App store is the future, my friends.
You say, “But Ryan, you buffoon, what makes the app store so critical in the on premise future that the next few years surely holds?”
To which I reply, “While over the next several years, the major percentage of SharePoint deployments will likely be on premise, the impact of Office 365 on development will be revolutionary. In fact, despite its low percentage of installs, I believe Office 365 has already hit critical mass and the SharePoint App Store is now a self fulfilling prophesy.” I’d say it just like that too, because I’m a tool.
1) Many Companies will demand their solutions be deployed as SharePoint Apps. With this iteration product complexity and the difficulty in finding great SharePoint Admin talent will begin pushing some companies to Office 365. However, the larger impact will come from the many on premise installations where admins will be looking to Office 365 as their model for deploying solutions internally while safeguarding their environments against rogue code. I predict massive rewriting of governance policies to encourage SharePoint apps and discourage old school Farm-Deployed solutions.
2) Nearly all third party SP vendors will be creating Office 365 App Store compatible versions of their products. It gets them access to customers on Office 365, and it gets them the path of least resistance into all those on premise installations that follow the Office 365 model; and it does so using a single code base to maintain.
3) Any of those on premise companies that thought they’d be ignoring the App Store, will be forced to pay attention when they inevitably need to deploy one of these third party solutions.
4) Developers will prefer to write Office 365 compatible Apps, not because they’re easier or better (the juries still out on that), but because it exposes them into the most markets with the most code reusability.
5) As companies see more and more SP Apps in the store, they will begin looking first to the for solutions.
6) To remain relevant, SharePoint solutions must be written and deployed as SharePoint Store Apps
And that is how Features die.
RIP SharePoint Features 2007 – 2010.