LO Base - do we know how many users there are?

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frofa's picture
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Just wondering what people’s thoughts are on how many users there might be for LO BASE? Are there enough, for example to justify more of a development effort on this (I think very useful) component of LO. For example, BASE is pretty much the only cross-platform Open Source (i.e. free) RDBMS front-end.

If we analyze the LibreofficeForum.org POSTINGS table (see on this website) BASE-related topics run at about 10% of all postings relating to specific components. I wonder, can any conclusions be drawn about the size of the ‘serious’ (i.e. more than occasional) BASE user-base (no tongue-twister intended) from this figure?

LibreOffice Forum Stats.jpg56.7 KB
oweng's picture
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interesting question!

Here are some more stats to help / confuse you. Smile

Installs / user base:

  • 2011 Sep 28, TDF blog: 1st anniversary. 900k downloads per month, up from 350k/mth in Jan 2011. Estimate 25m users worldwide (~9.5m Win / 0.5m Mac / 15m Linux). Target: 200m by 2020. Read the note at page bottom.
  • 2012 Sep 27, TDF blog: 2nd anniversary. Estimate 18-20m Win+Mac users, 30m Linux users.
  • 2012 Oct-Nov, Rob Weir: LibreOffice’s dubious claims, Part 1, 2, and 3. Counter claim/s providing figures of ~29k/day for LO and ~127k/day for AOO. Many other interesting stats. Well worth the read.
  • 2013 Mar 06, TDF blog: v4.0.1 release. 100k downloads per day, up from 25k/day one year prior.
  • 2013 Mar 27, Ars Technica: LibreOffice adoption soaring, but OpenOffice still open source king. Includes a graph covering 2012, that I can’t really relate to the figures. Estimate 30-40m Win / 20-30m Linux / ?m Mac. Estimated download / installation figures for AOO are provided also.

Base percentage:

  • Also have a look at the tags over on the Ask LO site. The main component tags are obvious, but you may want to include other related tags like “database”, “form”, “forms”, and “report”. Note that there are multiple pages of tags.
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Very tricky thing to

Very tricky thing to estimate
I, for one, went through a spell of using base (for a couple of specific projects before the days of LO as it happens) but don’t use currently. Other peoples usage may also vary according to need – more so than with Writer for example.
Personally I found base ideal for these projects but not at all for something else I once worked on and resorted to msql and php to do that so even for one person the question is a hard one to answer meaningfully.
Trying to use fora activity is open to all sorts of variables, arguments and counter arguments. just a couple of thoughts. Base is more tricky than, say Writer, to do even basic stuff so probably attracts more computer savy users – they either use the fora less, as they are more able to fix issues themselves, or they use them more as they are trying to push the software further and harder!

Development of base is always going to be costly, in terms of effort in vs gains. Many people, who want simple databases, will opt for Calc (appropriate or not), just because they are more used to it, and know that Excel is widely used (or abused) as a database. The usage of Base is always likely to be much lower that Writer Calc or Impress – something MS recognises with Office by not including Access in the standard editions (or they didn’t used to not sure currently). If you wanted a Database you paid extra for it.
At least fora, such as this, can give some help but, equally, can probably frighten off many beginners due to the often very technical nature of some of the questions compared to questions about Writer etc
Gone a bit off topic, I know.

Linux Mint 15 LibreOffice : OpenSUSE 12.3 LibreOffice 4.0.3

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Estimate Base usage

Base (and databases) is difficult. The product is much less powerful than MS Access, esp for novice users.

I think that the more skilled people, that are likely use base are also more skilled in searching the forums and reading help/documentation.
I’m joining the AOO forum mostly in Base are and I see that experienced people ask just a few questions, then know the nomenclature and find their way. Inexperienced people just stop. So the usage based on topics might be underestimated. Also the knowledge on the AOO forum in respect to Base is very large: that is the forum to be in respect to Base imho (but I do not mean to disqualify any of the volunteers here, its just about numbers).

I think that is is very important to bundle the resources of AOO and LO in respect to Base for its limited usage (split development topics on various topics over the teams and cross apply).

For example, BASE is pretty much the only cross-platform Open Source (i.e. free) RDBMS front-end.

I think that the power of Base is the integration with the other parts of the suite. As a standalone cross platform environment it is very weak, a web based approach will be more productive.

darkcity's picture
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A weak point seems to be

A weak point seems to be making the Macro easier to use.

Also, in Base you dip into SQL code, is this the case with Access? (not used Access for years, and that was prodding about).

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