Learning Core Data for iOS
As you progress through the chapters of Learning Core Data for iOS, you’ll build a fully functional Core Data App from scratch. Each key piece of information will be explained in succinct detail so you can apply what you’ve learned straight away. The sample application built throughout this book has been especially designed to demonstrate as many aspects of Core Data as possible. At the same time it is a completely real-world application available on the App Store today. This should make it easier to absorb concepts as you relate them to real-life scenarios.
The arrival of iOS 7 has seen major improvements in the speed, reliability, and simplicity of Core Data integration with iCloud. I encourage anyone who has previously given up on this technology to give it another go, because you will be pleasantly surprised.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for the complete source code!
- Chapter 1, “Your First Core Data Application”—The groundwork is laid as the fundamental concepts of Core Data are introduced. You’ll be shown what Core Data is, and just as importantly what it isn’t. The first helper class CoreDataHelper is created as Core Data integration with an existing application is demonstrated with Grocery Dude.
- Chapter 2, “Managed Object Model Basics”—Data models are introduced as parallels are drawn between traditional database schema design and Core Data. You’ll be shown how to configure a basic managed object model as entities and attributes are discussed, along with accompanying advice on choosing the right data types. Inserting, fetching, filtering, sorting and deleting managed objects is also covered and followed up with an introduction to fetch request templates.
- Chapter 3, “Managed Object Model Migration”—Experience lightweight migration, default migration, and using a migration manager to display migration progress. Learn how to make an informed decision when deciding between migration options for your own applications and become comfortable with the model versioning capabilities of Core Data.
- Chapter 4, “Managed Object Model Expansion”—The true power of a relational data model is unlocked as different types of relationships are explained and added to Grocery Dude. Other model features such as abstract and parent entities are also covered, along with techniques for dealing with data validation errors.
- Chapter 5, “Table Views”—The application really comes to life as Core Data is used to drive memory efficient and highly performing table-views using a fetched results controller. Of course, most of the generic legwork is put into a reusable table-view controller subclass called CoreDataTVC. By dropping this class into your own applications, you can easily deploy Core Data driven table-views yourself.
- Chapter 6, “Views”—Working with managed objects takes a front seat as you’re shown how to pass them around the application. Objects selected on a table-view are passed to a second view ready for editing. The editing interface is added to Grocery Dude demonstrating how to work with objects and then save them back to the persistent store.
- Chapter 7, “Picker Views”—As a nice touch, Core Data driven picker-views are added to the editing views. Picker-views allow the user to quickly assign existing items to a unit of measurement, home location or shop location. A special reusable text-field subclass called CoreDataPickerTF is introduced, which replaces the keyboard with a Core Data picker-view whenever an associated text-field is tapped.
- Chapter 8, “Pre-loading Data”—Techniques for generating a persistent store full of default data from XML are explained and demonstrated in this chapter as the generic CoreDataImporter helper class is introduced. Once you have a persistent store to include with a shipping application, you’ll then be shown how to determine whether a default data import is required or even desired by the user.
- Chapter 9, “Deep Copy”—A highly flexible and fine-grained alternative to migratePersistentStore, deep copy, allows you to copy objects and relationships from selected entities between persistent stores. In this chapter, the CoreDataImporter helper class is enhanced with the deep copy capability.
- Chapter 10, “Performance”—Gain experience with Instruments as you identify and eliminate performance issues caused by the common pitfalls of a Core Data application. The camera functionality is introduced to highlight these issues and demonstrates just how important good model design is to a well performing application.
- Chapter 11, “Background Processing”—Top-notch performance requires intensive tasks be offloaded to a background thread. Learn just how easy it is to run processes in the background as the example of photo thumbnail generation is added with the new generic helper class called Thumbnailer. Also learn how to keep memory usage low with another helper class, called Faulter.
- Chapter 12, “Search”—Learn how to handle twin fetched results controllers in the one table-view as you implement efficient search in CoreDataTVC.
- Chapter 13, “Backup and Restore”—Create backups and synchronize them to Dropbox using their Sync API. Restore data to any device using the same Dropbox account at the touch of a button.
- Chapter 14, “iCloud”—Enjoy the easiest, most reliable Core Data integration with iCloud yet. Handle multiple accounts and varying preferences on using iCloud without missing a beat.
- Chapter 15, “Taming iCloud”—Take iCloud integration to the next level with entity level seeding and unique object de-duplication. Accurately emulate first time iCloud use by resetting ubiquitous content globally, the right way.
- Chapter 16, “Web Service Integration”—Enable collaboration as cross-platform data sharing between multiple users is introduced with StackMob. StackMob have one of the best free Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) offerings available, and their iOS API is native to Core Data.
All Source Code
Source Code By Chapter
|Appendix A – Preparing Grocery Dude for Chapter 1||GroceryDude-AfterAppendixA.zip|
|Chapter 1 – Your First Core Data Application||GroceryDude-AfterChapter01.zip|
|Chapter 2 – Managed Object Model Basics||GroceryDude-AfterChapter02.zip|
|Chapter 3 – Managed Object Model Migration||GroceryDude-AfterChapter03.zip|
|Chapter 4 – Managed Object Model Expansion||GroceryDude-AfterChapter04.zip|
|Chapter 5 – Table Views||GroceryDude-AfterChapter05.zip|
|Chapter 6 – Views||GroceryDude-AfterChapter06.zip|
|Chapter 7 – Picker Views||GroceryDude-AfterChapter07.zip|
|Chapter 8 – Pre-loading Data||GroceryDude-AfterChapter08.zip|
|Chapter 9 – Deep Copy||GroceryDude-AfterChapter09.zip|
|Chapter 10 – Performance||GroceryDude-AfterChapter10.zip|
|Chapter 11 – Background Processing||GroceryDude-AfterChapter11.zip|
|Chapter 12 – Search||GroceryDude-AfterChapter12.zip|
|Chapter 13 – Backup and Restore||GroceryDude-AfterChapter13.zip|
|Chapter 14 – iCloud||GroceryDude-AfterChapter14.zip|
|Chapter 15 – Taming iCloud||GroceryDude-AfterChapter15.zip|
|Chapter 15 – Easy iCloud||EasyiCloud.zip|
|Chapter 15 – Generic Core Data Classes||Generic Core Data Classes.zip … Please read CoreDataHelper.h for usage instructions|
|Appendix B – Preparing Grocery Cloud for Chapter 16||GroceryCloud-AfterAppendixB.zip|
|Chapter 16 – Web Service Integration||GroceryCloud-AfterChapter16.zip|