Research: Collect anonymous usage data of TYPO3 CMS

Application by
Oliver Hader

What is your idea about?
This idea focusses on collecting anonymous usage data of TYPO3 installations out there, in order to allow more meaningful decisions based on facts. This submission is about defining the requirements, doing technical and legal research as well as implementing a prototype. It is not about creating or promising a final component - there are still too many unknown aspects that need to be clarified first (which is part of this submission).

Gathering data spans from aggregating a total amount of installations, their environments (server, country, technical capabilities, TYPO3 versions & (public) extensions), over usage of the TYPO3 admin interface to potential heat-maps concerning UX/UI aspects. Again, these are rough ideas, since corresponding research part still has to be done.

Next to that, there are legal aspects in terms of data-privacy that need to be considered - thus, anonymization and zero-knowledge-aspects are important topics here as well. Basically only regulations and requirements of the European Union (EU) can be considered here.

What is the potential impact of your idea?
Having the possibility to make decisions based on facts, instead of just assuming and guessing numbers and implications.

Who can / should implement your idea?
I will take care myself

Approximate Funds needed
€10,000 - €25,000


Hello Oliver,

thank you for your application. In our call for applications we asked for specific ideas to grow the membership of the TYPO3 Association. Can you please explain how you application can help to grow the number of members?

Hi @ischmittis,

thanks for raising this question. From my point of view, the quality and direction of the our main product “TYPO3 CMS” has also an impact on the amount of members within the TYPO3 Association - in both ways - either concerning new members, because they started to use TYPO3; but also for those cancelling their memberships, because they don’t see TYPO3 is “moving into the right direction”.

Thus, knowing how TYPO3 CMS is used, seems to be an essential part to make corresponding decisions on future topics and milestones. Currently we only do guess work on how existing functionalities might be used, which UX tasks users might struggle with the most, and what “content management” actually means for the users.

Of course this has been discussed in the past already (see Disable external requests until opted in by admin - #36 by mabolek - Discuss Topics - TYPO3 Decisions), the bottom line was “TYPO3 must not call home”. I am convinced that it is possible to collect meaningful data, without exposing sensitive information, which also would be in line with GDPR topics.

So yes, the amount of happy TYPO3 users, freelancers and agencies has an impact on the amount of members within the TYPO3 Association.

After reading Call for Budget Application Ideas—Association Budget 2022 again…

Due to the new responsibility of the budget process, funds are no longer distributed on a special field of interest. As infrastructure and development are already covered, we are solely interested in innovative ideas to foster and grow the TYPO3 community and number of TYPO3 Association members. More members will create a higher income for the Association which will lead to more funds which can be allocated in the future years. What ideas can you bring to the table?

In case applications must have a direct impact on the number of TYPO3 Association members - in case that was the hard requirement for an application to be accepted - I’m really wondering why my submission ended up here for discussion at all. The BCC could have declined it from the very beginning.

Personally I’d be fine, if my application would be declined, I’ll probably initiate some public crowdfunding instead.

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Hi @ohader,
thank you for your comment.

Regarding the focus for 2022: It was agreed that we publish most of the ideas to show the different kind of ideas out of the community, since we not only aim for a direct impact but also for an indirect impact.

For many ideas (including yours) we could see an indirect positive impact for the memberships. Our question the answers are to show the indirect impact to the community.

A research project like this one would hopefully be able to demonstrate how the data can be anonymized and privacy maintained. It is important to have this proven, as I know some feel uncomfortable about the concept.

Having this data at hand would be a great help for TYPO3 marketing and communication. Even just collecting data on version and country of new installs would be a quantum step. It would give us a high-quality, measurable conversion point.

At the moment, we can’t pinpoint that a campaign, presence at a conference, social media campaign, etc. actually increases adoption or just results in some website visits. It would enable TYPO3 to use marketing money where we can prove it gives results.

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A research project like this one would hopefully be able to demonstrate how the data can be anonymized and privacy maintained. It is important to have this proven, as I know some feel uncomfortable about the concept.

There are various examples out there, showing that it is possible - for instance take Mozilla Firefox, or even the Angular CLI tool, collecting anonymous data and helping to understand how the product is actually used.


The previous “calling home” implementation lead to a performance problem and did not take data security questions into account.
This project here gives me the good impression that it would provide a well-managed, privacy-oriented framework for the TYPO3 project to get meaningful data about installations and backend user activity. With proper data usage declaration and opt-ins for admins (where the server environment is involved) and backend users (where their activity is involved) that will prove valuable.

UI/UX surveys directly from the backend would be very valuable indeed.


From the Marketing Team perspective, I would love to finally have this implemented in order to gather actual usage information. Having this information would enable us to target our campaigns a lot better and communicate solutions for possible pain points or benefits clearer.


Without this kind of data, we have blind spots that affect our UX and Marketing Teams’ work. It’s important to implement this in a privacy-friendly way, and I know this will be respected by Oliver’s implementation (as well as security and performance).


Today, I just received the information that this budget has not been accepted.
I’m posting this just as FYI, in case anybody accidentally stumbles on this thread…