Comparison of SharePoint 2010 Farm Level Solutions/Features Actions supported in Browser, PowerShell, and STSADM

I was recently looking at the deploying SharePoint WSPs from the Central Admin and was surprised to see that deploying farm level WSPs wasn’t supported through browser interface. Quick research confirmed that it was supported only using either PowerShell or STSADM commands. Here is the high level table which layouts all the available options for solution deployment/retraction and feature activation/deactivation. Hopefully it will be useful. 

Solutions Actions Browser – Central Admin(System Settings -> Farm Management -> Manage Farm Solutions) PowerShell STSADM
View Solutions Yes Get-SPSolution -o enumsolutions
Add Solution – Add Solutions to Farm Solutions Gallery Not Supported Add-SPSolution -o addsolution
Deploy Solution – Deploys Solutions to the web applications Yes Install-SPSolution -o deploysolution
Update Solution – Update the deployed solution Not Supported Update-SPSolution -o upgradesolution
Retract Solution – retract solutions from the web applications Yes Uninstall-SPSolution -o retractsolution
Remove Solution – Remove the solution from the farm solutions gallery Yes Remove-SPSolution -o deletesolution
 
Feature Actions   Browser – Farm, Application, Site, and Web Level Features Page PowerShell STSADM
View Features – View features at the farm, web application, site collection, or site scope Yes Get-SPFeature Not Supported
Install Feature – Install feature at the farm, web application, site collection, or site scope No Install-SPFeature -o installfeature
Activate Feature  – Activate feature at the farm, web application, site collection, or site scope Yes Enable-SPFeature -o activatefeature
Deactivate Feature – Deactivate feature at the farm, web application, site collection, or site scope Yes Disable-SPFeature -o deactivatefeature
Uninstall Feature – Uninstall feature at the farm, web application, site collection, or site scope No Uninstall-SPFeature -o uninstallfeature
 
 
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