We are more than happy to announce the release of TYPO3 version 9.3. The outstanding aspects of the 4th sprint release are SEO features "out of the box", new options to make it easy to comply with GDPR and added support for stronger password hashing functions, which hardens security even more.
Search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo! and others are still the starting point for many users on their search for specific information on the Internet. These search engines require websites, which they can visit, scan and index the content. TYPO3 always had the reputation of being search engine friendly, mainly because it has been easy to configure basic techniques.
The first results of their amazing efforts can be seen in TYPO3 version 9.3, which introduces a new system extension called "SEO". Meta tags, which are relevant for SEO and set in page properties are rendered in the frontend by default with no additional configuration required. Behind the scenes, a new Meta Tag API manages this in a modern and fast way. More obvious for integrators and editors alike is a new tab "SEO" of the page properties in the backend. It is possible to instruct search engines to index a page or follow links on that page, add Open Graph data to a page or add information especially for Twitter. The Open Graph protocol is supported by all modern social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
The SEO initiative has more features up its sleeve and the TYPO3 core will likely receive further improvements before the LTS version (Long Term Support) will be launched later this year.
If you work in the IT industry or followed the news over the last few weeks, you surely came across GDPR. GDPR aims to give users more power over protection, transparency and control of their personal data, whilst imposing strict rules on hosting and data processing. A number of settings can be configured in TYPO3 version 9.3, that control if and what kind of user data and for how long it is stored (data retention time). A new scheduler task can be activated to anonymize IP addresses of users/visitors in several database tables after a certain period of time.
Hardening the Security
Inactive frontend and backend users can now be removed from the database. TYPO3 supports salted passwords for more than a decade now! The system extension "Salted Passwords" takes care of the passwords of frontend and backend users in TYPO3.
Database Table Creation Simplified
The database schema analyzer became much smarter in TYPO3 version 9.3. It now creates most of the management fields automatically, by reading the TCA definition. Therefore, developers do not need to add most of the general fields to the SQL file anymore. A complete list of auto-generated columns can be found in the TYPO3 documentation.
The next release on our road to the LTS version of TYPO3 v9 will be version 9.4, currently scheduled to be released in September 2018.