Use Cases

This is the responsibility of the Configuration Profiles Team and Communications Team.

This is an attempt to make a grid of major use cases and major user types. Ex.: Enterprise Collaboration, Publishing for non-profits, etc.

Also related: Tiki Suite use cases

This page is still in draft. Once it stabilizes, it will probably be split into smaller chunks. When it is ready, it will be publicized. Please help improve. Perhaps it should be moved to http://profiles.tiki.org ?

This list needs to be split in what Tiki is used for and by whom


Tiki is the FLOSS Web Application with the most built-in features and is in general one of the most diverse / feature-full piece of software in the World. This is great when you need it (of course!), but it makes it difficult for

  • marketing -> "How do you market something that does everything"
  • the User/Admin experience -> "It does everything, nice but I just want X. How do I do it?"

Tiki is a Wiki / Content Management System (CMS) / Groupware.

These are broad and vague terms.

Tiki enthusiasts will tell you that Tiki is a jack-of-all-trades, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink, all-in-one tool which lets you do just about "anything". It could power probably over 90% of the websites in the World (Let's face it, most sites are pretty simple!). But of course, you don't want to do "anything". You have a specific objective/community/project in mind. This page will define a bit more the different ways to use Tiki.

With Tiki, you can pick & choose which features are turned on. Chances are, your project will be a combination of a few 'Use Cases'. So you can use the combined features of all appropriate use cases.

Why cater to so many use cases? A bit like speaking many languages from the same root (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Catalan, etc.), once you know 3 or 4, the 5th and 6th are easier to learn because you already have many bases. Some words are the same, or similar enough that you can get by. So each Use Case is easier & easier.

Similar to the list of features, rating (A, B, C, D, E) are to compare Tiki as an overall solution for these use cases, compared to "industry standards" in the Open Source World. So "A" means that Tiki is, for this Use Case, just as good as any other Open Source project. "A" does not mean "Perfect" or that it has all the features. Some features may be weak but compensated by other strong features. The ratings are based on the latest stable version of Tiki. If you disagree with a rating, please change it and edit the Strengths/Weaknesses sections accordingly.


  • Review every feature of Tiki and put the most relevant ones below in the top 1 (or max 2) relevant use cases.
  1. These ratings needs to be split, like in features:
    • Setup/admin UI: How easy / intuitive is to set up this feature?
    • UI end user : Once setup, how easy / intuitive is it for the end-user? (was it worth it?)
    • Stability: How many bugs left?
    • Feature-set / power: How does this feature compare to other Open Source apps?
  2. Move to a SWOT format

Please do add links to your Tiki-powered sites which fit a profile.

Each Use Case will eventually need an installation profile to make it easy for people to get going when they install Tiki.


Copy to clipboard
-=Use Case=- Description of Use case, which will eventually be a profile (who/what/etc) * Description of type of user / user case (clarify what we are talking about) -=Key features=- Including links to the proper documentation page. This will make it easier to evaluate/understand. -=Strengths=- * Specific benefits/strength of adopting Tiki (why is Tiki great for them?) -=Weaknesses=- Weaknesses of Tiki / what needs to be improved -=Potential to contribute to Tiki=- * Potential to contribute to Tiki (to help the Tiki community prioritize efforts) ** Examples of low potential to contribute to Tiki: microsites, or one-shot projects that will be shut down after a short period. Ex.: Event organization web site, that won't be re-used the following year -=Examples & related links=- Some good examples of live sites (Tiki or otherwise)

Who is reading?

So info.tiki.org should start out with

I am not a techy

  • I am a manager
  • I am a designer / Graphic artist
  • I am a Power-user (this one is in both sections because some power-users consider themselves techy, some not)
  • I am Writer / Tech Writer / Content manager

1.1.1. Writer / Content manager / Translator / Marketing

Me: Content is king! I have info to get out and don't want to wait for a webmaster.

Strengths: Tiki has a full range of features to make a great publishing & collaboration platform, with plenty of Interaction tools. Please also see: SEO


Potential to contribute to Tiki: Can help with *.tiki.org content and can also help with bug reports, testing, documentation, feature requirements, etc.

1.1.2. Graphic artist / theme designer

Me: I am really good with CSS & HTML but I am allergic to PHP

Strengths: Tiki has a very flexible template system. You can do an amazing quantity of thing without ever changing a single line of PHP code. Thanks to the theme control center, you can assign a different theme to different parts of your site. The whole theme system was recently re-organized. Please see: themes.tiki.org


Potential to contribute to Tiki: Theme designers often make very specific theme for customers. These themes often cover only a small number of features. Result: their work is most often not contributable.

1.1.3. Power-user / Information architect

Me: I am really good at testing, configuring, finding bugs, etc. and I want a powerful system to organize things efficiently

Strengths: Tiki has arguably more features out of the box than any other web application. Configure your Tiki to your liking through a point & click GUI.
Tiki has a ton of goodies for you. With categories, you can create a basic document workflow. With structures, you can create a book from a collection of wiki pages. Semantic links and Mind Mapping.


Potential to contribute to Tiki: Can help with bug reports, testing, documentation, feature requirements, etc.

1.1.4. Entrepreneur / Management / Lawyer

Give me the executive summary :-)


  • LGPL. Tiki is free as in free speech and free beer.
  • Tiki has 200+ different permissions you can set to any group. Groups can be included in groups (and inherit permissions). Just about any item in Tiki can have individual permissions which override global permissions. And, to make management easier, Tiki also offers category permissions.


Potential to contribute to Tiki: Can help find new uses and business models for Tiki, which at least indirectly, lead to more resources working on Tiki (ex.: a SAAS project or web community (with Tiki as a back-end)

I am techy

If the person clicks techy

  • I am a sysadmin
  • I am a coder
  • I am a front-end developer
  • I am a Power-user (this one is in both sections because some power-users consider themselves techy, some not)

1.1.1. Programmer / coder

Me: I want to code as little as possible and I want to be able to contribute my code or use APIs so I don't have to manage a local fork.

Strengths: Tiki is a full-fledged Wiki/ CMS / Groupware. But it can also be used as a framework to build additional functionality. Tiki has a very open development philosophy. You can add features as long as you make them optional



Potential to contribute to Tiki: New features, bug fixes, improve release process, etc.

1.1.2. Sysadmin / Web host

Me:I am worried about complex updates and security issues. Apt-get is my friend

Strengths: Why install 2, 3 or 4 Web apps when Tiki can handle these needs? One application to manage instead of inconsistent logins & permissions throughout different systems. Tiki offers TRIM, MultiTiki & InterTiki. Many authentication options (LDAP, CAS, etc). Tiki runs on standard PHP/MySQL. You can easily export & reuse data if need be. See: Hosting Company


Potential to contribute to Tiki: Stability, Security, Uptime, Performance, Deployability, etc.

1.1.3. IT manager

Me: I am looking for a good overall solution for a web app. I am planning ahead because now, my staff is asking for a wiki, but I know that later, they are are gonna want more. I don't want to be limited down the road.

Strengths: Tiki is a very active project. Hundreds of people have contributed. On one side, it is mature and stable in version LTS versions, a lot of exciting new features are in development


Potential to contribute to Tiki: Can help with funding / planning of enhancements and stability/upkeep of LTS versions.

What type of organization?

Small and medium-sized business (SMB)

Strengths: The big feature-set and tight integration reduce the number of apps to deploy


Potential to contribute to Tiki: suite.tiki.org

Enterprise / Corporate

  • Enterprises has different needs in terms of support and release cycles. Tiki has evolved over the years to a large number of benefits for the Enterprise
  • Enterprises tend to use Tiki for fewer features, but more intensely.

Tiki is an excellent tool for a corporate wiki, with all the tools built-in: LDAP, fine-grained permissions, trackers, etc
Tiki is licensed LGPL (while most projects of this type are GPL) so you can freely integrate with your commercial applications.


Potential to contribute to Tiki: They save money, thus, can contribute. Typically long term commitment.

Related links:




Potential to contribute to Tiki: Large deployments and long-term projects. Could prefer to invest public money in FOSS solutions, which are thus available to all.

Education / Research

For teachers & school administration
For student



Potential to contribute to Tiki: Translation Student Program

Association / Non-Profit / Co-ops / NGO / Special Interest Group / Club / Foundation

Can be an association of professionals



Potential to contribute to Tiki: Have a culture of volunteers and good causes. Can help with fundraising and volunteer testers.

If you a philanthropist and want to help, you can put your resources to good use, with a fantastic multiplying effect. Tiki is free as in free beer. Tiki got this far with a budget of 0, but money would help to cover travel expenses for contributors for TikiFests and increase overall quality.

Personal / Family / Freelancer



Potential to contribute to Tiki:

Web agency / Designer / Consultant

Us: We do all kinds of web projects. Mostly web sites but sometimes some Intranets

Strengths: With Tiki, you can manage several different types of projects, all with the same back-end. And it's easy to share back so you don't have to maintain your customizations.


Potential to contribute to Tiki: These agencies are the ones picking the tool, and can both increase the install base, and contribute back enhancements.

Hosting company / Tech services

Us: We want applications which add value to our hosting services. And it has to be easy to maintain.

Strengths: Tiki is ideal! Please see: Hosting Company


Potential to contribute to Tiki:


International / Multilingual / Geo CMS

Features: i18n, maps

Strengths: Tiki interface is at least partially translation in 40+ languages
Good back-end architecture & storage


Potential to contribute to Tiki: Translations


How will the system be used / what is the project?

Web Publishing / News / Blog / Personal site / family site / Portal / news site

"One to Many" web communication

Features: Menu, Newsletter, Articles, Article Generator, Blog, Banners, Themes, Kaltura videos, Comments, Spam protection, WYSIWYG, Search engine optimization, Clean URLs, RSS, Categories, etc.

Strengths: Themable, Smarty, Can natively handle multiple blogs

Weaknesses: Spam prevention, not enough nice built-in themes.

Potential to contribute to Tiki: Web shops that do brochure-ware websites typically take Tiki as-is, have very little to develop, and most often can't recontribute the custom theme. Since sites are pretty simple, and version history / collaboration is not important, they more often change technologies after a few years. Because of a custom theme, site upgrades are likely to be 2-4 years apart, along with design refresh. LTS is useful for them.


E-commerce / Shopping cart / Finance / Membership

Managing transactions

Features: Shopping Cart, Payment, Accounting, Credit, Membership, PluginTrade, Spreadsheet



  • Various features are not integrated, No Shopping Cart profile
  • Still quite basic. Suitable if your main site needs other Tiki features and you also need basic e-commerce.
  • No tax handling

Potential to contribute to Tiki: These projects have an incentive to focus on security. Their business model may bring additional features and a better UI.


Collaboration / Project Management / Intranet / Team project / Entreprise Wiki / B2B or internal

One or many defined teams focusing on goals.

Features:Workspaces, Wiki, Bug/task Tracker, Calendar, Chat, Watch, Permissions, Share, Categories, Search, LDAP authentication, File Gallery


  • Very customizable and powerful
  • Very promising in the wiki-based project management field


  • Missing profile for typical use case

Potential to contribute to Tiki: These are typically long term commitment projects, thus, they are interested in being around for a smooth upgrade.


E-learning / Learning Management System (LMS) / classroom / course management system (CMS) / Coaching communities

One to many teaching, or many to many learning
Support coaching activities and education communities.

Features: Quizzes, BigBlueButton webinars, Slideshow and Screencast



  • Not yet suitable for classrooms (as a Moodle alternative)
  • Grading only available trough mods

Potential to contribute to Tiki:


Social Networking / Community / Fan Site / E-democracy

Many to many, organic groups

Examples: Job board / Dating site / hospitality exchange / Car Pooling

People are connected around a topic.

Features: Forums, Inter-User Messages, Maps, Friendship Network, Spam Protection, Workspace UI, User profiles, Organic Groups, Wiki user pages, Calendar of events, polls

Tiki eats its own DogFood


  • "transactions" between users
  • Reputation / karma system
  • Tiki is missing a few things to be efficient for this use case. Tiki friends are very basic. It would be possible but clunky to get by with trackers and forums.

Potential to contribute to Tiki:


Knowledge base / Documentation / Book / Thesis / Glossary / Dictionary / Encyclopedia / Manual / Knowledge Management (KM) / institutional memory / Document Workflow / Document Management System (DMS)

Collaboratively edited
One or several authors
Some editors & reviewers
I am doing my PhD and I would like some people to review my work.

Features: Wiki, Screencast, Search, Structure, i18n (for translation), Flagged Revision, Tag, Spam Protection, Zotero, References, WebHelp, categories, category permissions, Watch, category watch, category transition, File galleries with check-in/checkout, WebDAV

Strengths: Excellent tracking of edits (wiki history)

Weaknesses: Printing, Offline, PDF, Doesn't handle non-Web things (OCR, etc)

Potential to contribute to Tiki:


Customer/Contact/Constituent relationship management (CRM) / Support / Help Desk / Issue Tracker / Bug Tracker / Customer extranet

  • Supporting a product or service or sales
  • Typically with one to one support of a product and a public bug/issue tracker
  • This includes software-forge type sites
  • There is overlap with "Knowledgebase / Documentation" use case with respect to the product documentation
  • There is overlap with "Community" use case because we want customers to help each other

Features: Issue Tracker, File Gallery, Surveys, Polls, Live Support, User profiles, Newsletter, comments, forum

Lots of interest: CRM

Tiki can do some of this. It would need quite a bit of configuration. Too much work for a new admin. A profile would be very useful here

Potential to contribute to Tiki: Typically Long Term commitment as they want to have a stable platform for their customers


Office Suite

Online office productivity tools, to collaborate on various document types (all web-based)

Features: Wiki, Docs, Screencast, Spreadsheet, Slideshow, Drawings, Database builder. For regular files, you can use the File Gallery and WebDAV



Potential to contribute to Tiki:


Productivity / Personal Information Management (PIM) / Personal knowledge base

Makes users more efficient

Features: Webmail, Bookmarks, Notepad, Task, User Files, Calendar, Contact

Wiki is very strong for this.

No sync with PDA, weak webmail

Potential to contribute to Tiki:

Related links:

Framework / App builder / Activity Workflow / Online service / Database, forms & reports / Specialized web Application

Tiki has all these features, and you use as Framework to build even more!

Most online services like Basecamp, Freshbooks, etc. are not using FOSS software (although they are very likely using components).

Contact some of the developers to see if/how your project could fit in so you can focus on your content and community and reduce the risk/cost of feature development.

I have legacy data | I want to reuse content from another DB http://tiki.org/PluginSql, Webservices, etc.

Features: tracker, Category Transitions can be used as a Workflow engine

Super powerful and nicely integrated with wiki
Includes Zend Framework, Smarty and jQuery

  • When you'll need a generic feature (forum, etc), it's just a click away.


Potential to contribute to Tiki:


Production / ERP

This can be built with trackers, but Tiki is not yet good here.

Features: Trackers, Category Transitions engine to code custom processes



Potential to contribute to Tiki:

Related links

Event Management, Conference Management & planning

This is a mix of Project Management for the organizers, CRM for the attendees and publishing to promote the event. Yet, since it's a fairly clear / common use case, we'll make add a section

Features: Trackers (for user registration), Wiki, Calendar

Wikis in Plain English / Planning a camping trip
"Email is not good at coordinating and organizing a group's input. This is the old way. The important information is scattered across everyone's inbox. (...) There is a better way"


  • Needs a better way to track submissions
  • Need a profile

Potential to contribute to Tiki:

Related links

What is your infrastructure?

Shared hosting

V-server or dedicated server

Local computer or USB key

Related links


Page last modified on Saturday 15 October 2016 06:18:16 GMT-0000