Core Data Tutorial for iPhone OS

Data Management

2009-09-09

Apple Inc. © 2009 Apple Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Apple Inc., with the following exceptions: Any person is hereby authorized to store documentation on a single computer for personal use only and to print copies of documentation for personal use provided that the documentation contains Apple’s copyright notice. The Apple logo is a trademark of Apple Inc. Use of the “keyboard” Apple logo (Option-Shift-K) for commercial purposes without the prior written consent of Apple may constitute trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. No licenses, express or implied, are granted with respect to any of the technology described in this document. Apple retains all intellectual property rights associated with the technology described in this document. This document is intended to assist application developers to develop applications only for Apple-labeled computers. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this document is accurate. Apple is not responsible for typographical errors. Apple Inc. 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, CA 95014 408-996-1010 Apple, the Apple logo, Cocoa, Mac, Objective-C, and Xcode are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the United States and other countries. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc. Simultaneously published in the United States and Canada.
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Contents
Introduction

Introduction 7
Organization of This Document 8

Chapter 1

Starting Out 9
Create the Project 10 Understanding a Core Data–Based Project 10 The Core Data Stack 11 Managed Objects and the Managed Object Context 11 The Managed Object Model 12 Persistent Store Coordinator 13

Chapter 2

The Table View Controller 15
Creating and Defining the RootViewController Class 15 Implementing the RootViewController Class 16 Synthesize the Properties 16 Writing the Accessor Method for the Core Location Manager 16 Implementing viewDidLoad 17 Implement Methods for Memory Management 18 Configuring the Application Delegate 18 Add the Navigation Controller Property 18 Implement the Application Delegate 18 Build and Test 19

Chapter 3

Managed Object and Model 21
Modeling Your Data 21 Add the Entity 21 Add the Attributes 22 Custom Managed Object Class 23 Core Data Recap 24

Chapter 4

Adding Events 25
Implementing the addEvent Method 25 Get the Current Location 25 Create and Configure the Event object 25 Save the New Event 26 Handling Errors 26 Update the Events Array and the Table View 27

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2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS

Displaying Events in the Table View 27 Build and Test 28 Core Data Recap 29 Chapter 5

Fetching Events 31
Fetching Managed Objects 31 Creating and Executing the Request 32 Create the Request 32 Set the Sort Descriptor 32 Execute the Request 33 Finish Up 33 Build and Test 33 Core Data Recap 33

Chapter 6

Deleting Events 35
Deleting Managed Objects 35 Deleting an Event 35 Build and Test 36 Core Data Recap 36

Chapter 7

Next Steps 37
Where to Go from Here 37 The Core Data Utility Tutorial 37 Use a Fetched Results Controller 37 Creating a Managed Object Model with Xcode 37 A Drill-Down Interface 38 Add an Add Sheet 38

Document Revision History 39

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2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. All Rights Reserved.

All Rights Reserved. .Figures Chapter 1 Starting Out 9 Figure 1-1 Figure 1-2 Figure 1-3 Figure 1-4 A simple Core Data stack 11 Managed objects in a context. and a table in the persistent store 12 An entity description. 12 A complex Core Data stack 14 5 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. and a managed object. a table in the database.

.FIGURES 6 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. All Rights Reserved.

and delete objects managed by Core Data. it: ■ Provides an infrastructure for managing all the changes to your model objects. Uses a schema to describe the model objects. You define the principal features of your model classes—including the relationships between them—in a GUI-based editor. This gives you automatic support for undo and redo. and how to commit changes to a data store 7 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. ■ ■ ■ ■ Core Data is available on iPhone OS v3. .” including setting of default values and attribute value validation.0. including: ■ ■ ■ The fundamental design patterns and techniques that underlie Core Data The basics of using the Xcode data modeling tool How to create. You should read this document to learn how to use Core Data on iPhone. This is similar to archiving (see Archives and Serializations Programming Guide for Cocoa).0 and later. Amongst other things. and for maintaining reciprocal relationships between objects. Allows you to keep just a subset of your model objects in memory at any given time. Has an infrastructure for data store versioning and migration. Core Data helps you to save model objects (in the sense of the model-view-controller design pattern) to a file and get them back again. This provides a wealth of basic functionality “for free. update. This lets you easily upgrade an old version of the user’s file to the current version. All Rights Reserved. for example. This is useful if you want to. Fundamentally. Allows you to maintain disjoint sets of edits of your objects. allow the user to make edits in one view that may be discarded without affecting data displayed in another view.INTRODUCTION Introduction Core Data is a schema-driven object graph management and persistence framework. but Core Data offers much more than that. This document describes tools and techniques for iPhone OS v3. This is especially important on iPhone where conserving memory is critical.

INTRODUCTION Introduction Important: Core Data is not an entry-level technology. Documents you should read to gain adequate experience include: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Your First iPhone Application Xcode Workspace Guide Cocoa Fundamentals Guide View Controller Programming Guide for iPhone OS Table View Programming Guide for iPhone OS Organization of This Document This tutorial comprises the following chapters: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ “Starting Out” (page 9) “The Table View Controller” (page 15) “Managed Object and Model” (page 21) “Adding Events” (page 25) “Fetching Events” (page 31) “Deleting Events” (page 35) “Next Steps” (page 37) The source code for the tutorial is provided in the Locations sample code. Before starting to use Core Data. navigation controllers. . so that the content can focus on Core Data itself. 8 Organization of This Document 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. including: ■ ■ ■ How to use Xcode and Interface Builder Fundamental design patterns such as model-view-controller and delegation How to use view controllers. you must understand the basics of iPhone application development. All Rights Reserved. and table views None of these tools and techniques are explained in this tutorial.

In this tutorial. The aim here is not to create a polished application. and techniques you’ll use in any Core Data–based program. you use Core Data primarily to represent the Event objects and store them in an external file so that they can be displayed when the application launches.” and uses a table view to show the time. All Rights Reserved. To add a bit more interest. then to create the Xcode project and to understand the basics of what the Xcode project template gives you. The goal of this tutorial is to provide a practical introduction to the Core Data framework and how you use it. you don’t need to understand it in any detail. and longitude of all the events you’ve recorded. tools. The application you create is conceptually simple—it lets you record your location at any time as an “event. but it does give references to other documents you can read to gain a deeper understanding. and for the purposes of this project. It has an Add button to add a new event. The Core Location manager is a very straightforward object. 9 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. and an Edit button that allows you to delete events from the list. latitude. the tutorial also makes use of the Core Location framework. It doesn’t provide in-depth explanations of all the features the framework offers. .CHAPTER 1 Starting Out The goals of this chapter are to describe the application that you will build. but rather to illustrate the fundamental classes.

In code listings. @property (nonatomic.CHAPTER 1 Starting Out Note: As a convention. It’s important that you call the project “Locations” so that you can copy and paste code required later in the tutorial. retain. retain. 10 Create the Project 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. comments included in Xcode template files are not shown. Similarly. @property (nonatomic. All Rights Reserved. >> denotes the beginning of a paragraph (sometimes including the following bulleted list) that contains steps that you must perform in the tutorial. create a new project using the Window-Based Application template in the iPhone OS section. The model file is described later in “Managed Object and Model” (page 21).xcdatamodel) file—typically referred to as the managed object model The application also links against the Core Data framework. In the Options section. @property (nonatomic. For now. @property (nonatomic. the applicationDocumentsDirectory property simply returns the path to the application’s documents directory. Create the Project The only steps in this chapter are to create the project itself and link against the Core Location framework. the first two should be familiar. readonly) NSPersistentStoreCoordinator *persistentStoreCoordinator. . the template provides you with: ■ ■ ■ An application delegate class A MainWindow interface (. The remaining properties provide access to what’s called the Core Data stack. readonly) NSString *applicationDocumentsDirectory. examine the header file of the application delegate class. select the switch to use Core Data for storage. As its name implies. Call the project “Locations” . readonly) NSManagedObjectContext *managedObjectContext. >> Link the project against the Core Location framework. the save action method saves the application’s data to disk.xib) file A Core Data model (. In addition to the standard window and view controller. Saving is discussed in greater detail throughout this document. which is where the file containing the application’s data will be located.(IBAction)saveAction:sender. Of the resources. retain. although the details of the delegate class will be new.) Understanding a Core Data–Based Project Together with various other supporting files. it provides four other properties and a new method: . >> In Xcode. (Use the General pane of the Info window for the application’s target. readonly) NSManagedObjectModel *managedObjectModel.

When you create a new managed object. All Rights Reserved. but the store doesn’t have to be an actual database. A context represents a single object space. Figure 1-1 A simple Core Data stack Managed Object Context A collection of managed objects Persistent Store Coordinator A collection of stores Persistent Object Store A collection of object data Managed Object Model A collection of entity descriptions Store File The objects you usually work directly with are at the top of the stack—the managed object context and the managed objects it contains. The managed object context is an instance of NSManagedObjectContext.) Figure 1-1 (page 11) shows the simplest—and most common—configuration of the stack. it’s an object representation of a record in a table in a database. These objects form a group of related model objects that represent an internally consistent view of one or more persistent stores. albums. (Fetching is discussed in greater detail in “Fetching Events” (page 31). The Core Data Stack 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. Its primary responsibility is to manage a collection of managed objects. Managed Objects and the Managed Object Context A managed object is an instance of NSManagedObject or of a subclass of NSManagedObject. Managed objects represent the data you operate on in your application—for example departments and employees in a human resources application. and tracks in a music management application. in an application. artists. The context is a powerful object with a central role in your application.) Any changes you make (whether insertion or deletion of complete objects. (One of the store types you can use with Core Data is SQLite. text areas. You fetch existing records in the database into the context as managed objects. and groups in a drawing application. with tables and records. you insert it into a context. relationship maintenance. with responsibilities from life-cycle management to validation. or scratch pad. a persistent store is like a database. shapes. and undo/redo. 11 . so it’s a model (in the sense of the model-view-controller design pattern) object that is managed by Core Data. Conceptually. A managed object is always associated with a managed object context. Conceptually.CHAPTER 1 Starting Out The Core Data Stack Stack is the term used to describe a collection of Core Data framework objects that work together to get modeled objects from and save data to a persistent store—the file where your data is stored. or manipulation of property values) are kept in memory until you actually commit them to the store by saving the context.

A model is a collection of entity description objects (instances of NSEntityDescription). An entity description describes an entity (a table in a database) in terms of its name. Figure 1-2 Managed objects in a context. 12 The Core Data Stack 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. a table in the database. It’s an object representation of a schema that describes your database. and a managed object corresponding to a single record in the table. and what properties (attributes and relationships) it has. a table in the database. a property value has been changed in memory. and so the managed objects you use in your application. and a managed object. Name Managed Object Class Attribute Attribute Entity Description “Employee” NSManagedObject name salary name Fred salary 97000 entityDescription Managed Object Every managed object has a reference to the entity of which it is an instance. All Rights Reserved.CHAPTER 1 Starting Out Figure 1-2 (page 12) illustrates a managed object context that contains two managed objects corresponding to two records in an external database. but the change has not been committed to the database. In one of the objects. . and a table in the persistent store Managed Object Context Employee name Fred salary 90000 Employee name Nigel salary 60000 Unsaved data Employee name salary Fred 90000 Juli 97000 Nigel 50000 Tanya 56000 Current data The Managed Object Model A managed object model is an instance of NSManagedObjectModel. the name of the class used to represent the entity in your application. Figure 1-3 (page 12) illustrates the relationship between an entity description in a model. Figure 1-3 An entity description.

To learn more about persistent stores and the different types. or you might want to perform a background operation using one context while allowing the user to interact with objects in another. Core Data. You might want to maintain discrete sets of managed objects and edits to those objects. Core Data won’t be able to read stores you created using the previous model. This section describes the persistent store coordinator in detail. but in complex desktop applications there may be several.) A persistent store coordinator is an instance of NSPersistentStoreCoordinator. Each of these would be connected to the same coordinator. It’s important to be aware that if you change the schema in your application. There are different classes of persistent object store for the different file types that Core Data supports. you usually just have a single store. It’s the object that actually maps between objects in your application and records in the database. The persistent store coordinator’s role is to manage these stores and present to its managed object contexts the façade of a single unified store. each potentially containing different entities. When you fetch records.) Persistent Store Coordinator The persistent store coordinator plays a central role in how Core Data manages data. In any application. A persistent object store represents an external store (file) of persisted data. so if you prefer you can skip it and refer to it later as necessary. Stacks aren’t usually this complicated. you might have multiple managed object contexts. though. see Persistent Store Features in Core Data Programming Guide. Figure 1-4 (page 14) illustrates the role the coordinator plays. In an iPhone application. All Rights Reserved. you don’t often interact with the coordinator directly when you use the framework. You can also implement your own if you want to support a custom file type—see Atomic Store Programming Topics.CHAPTER 1 Starting Out Core Data uses the model to map between managed objects in your application and records in the database. (The persistent store coordinator is also described in Core Data Basics in the Core Data Programming Guide. It manages a collection of persistent object stores. Core Data retrieves results from all of them (unless you specify which store you’re interested in). however. (This is something common to many persistence mechanisms. 13 . The Core Data Stack 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. does also provide an infrastructure for managing such changes—see the Core Data Model Versioning and Data Migration Programming Guide.

.CHAPTER 1 Starting Out Figure 1-4 A complex Core Data stack Managed Object Context Employee Customer Department Contractor Managed Object Context Employee Department Customer Persistent Store Coordinator Managed Object Model A collection of entity descriptions Persistent Object Store Persistent Object Store Persistent Object Store 14 The Core Data Stack 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. All Rights Reserved.

It’s populated from the application’s persistent store when the application starts up. so it must adopt the CLLocationManagerDelegate protocol. which serves as your gateway to the Core Data stack. for the events array. which the user needs to add events. A Core Location manager. To support this. >> In Xcode. ■ ■ ■ Creating and Defining the RootViewController Class First. you’ll use Core Data to manage the actual data. This provides the architecture for the application. and configuring the Core Location manager. In the next chapter. You need a reference to the button so you can conditionally enable and disable it in response to changes in the Core Location manager’s state. and to update the application delegate to create and configure an instance of the table view controller. A bar button item. creating an instance of a navigation controller and a table view controller. this chapter does not provide significant detail or explanation beyond that you need to understand the role of each of the components in the application.CHAPTER 2 The Table View Controller The goal of this chapter is to create an initial implementation of the table view controller. the controller adds four properties to the basic table view controller: ■ A mutable array. which provides location information to the application. you should stop here and practice writing some more applications before continuing. create files for the new class. and updated as the user adds and removes events. It’s assumed that you’re already familiar with view controllers and table views. configuring. The root view controller serves as the Core Location manager’s delegate. add four properties. the managed object context. and an Add button. and displaying a navigation controller and a table view controller. The user can add new events only when this is active (the iPhone Simulator simulates activity so you don’t need to install the application on a device to test it). Next. >> Replace the contents of the RootViewController header file with the following: #import <CoreLocation/CoreLocation. The application delegate is responsible for creating. call it RootViewController. The table view controller displays the array of event objects.h> Creating and Defining the RootViewController Class 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. A managed object context. 15 . This chapter sets up the table view. All Rights Reserved. the Core Location manager. which contains the collection of event objects that the table view controller displays. If any of this is too challenging. create a new UITableViewController subclass.

Implement viewDidLoad to set up the Core Location manager and the Add and Edit buttons. you need to: ■ ■ ■ ■ Synthesize the properties you declared. } @property (nonatomic. @property (nonatomic. Synthesize the Properties >> Add these lines: @synthesize @synthesize @synthesize @synthesize eventsArray. . All the code described in the following sections goes into the @implementation block of the RootViewController class. retain) NSManagedObjectContext *managedObjectContext. Writing the Accessor Method for the Core Location Manager >> Create an accessor method to dynamically create the Core Location manager on demand: . retain) NSMutableArray *eventsArray. @property (nonatomic. replacing implementations provided by the template as appropriate. addButton. CLLocationManager *locationManager. NSManagedObjectContext *managedObjectContext. Write the accessor method for the Core Location manager and implement two of its delegate methods. retain) UIBarButtonItem *addButton. locationManager. managedObjectContext. @property (nonatomic. UIBarButtonItem *addButton. } 16 Implementing the RootViewController Class 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc.CHAPTER 2 The Table View Controller @interface RootViewController : UITableViewController <CLLocationManagerDelegate> { NSMutableArray *eventsArray. All Rights Reserved. retain) CLLocationManager *locationManager. @end Implementing the RootViewController Class There are several parts to the initial implementation.(CLLocationManager *)locationManager { if (locationManager != nil) { return locationManager. Implement methods to take care of memory management.

if the Core Location manager is failing. self. >> Add the following two Core Location manager delegate methods: .enabled = NO. addButton. 17 . self. } Next. [[self locationManager] startUpdatingLocation].(void)locationManager:(CLLocationManager *)manager didFailWithError:(NSError *)error { addButton. implement two delegate methods to enable and disable the Add button as appropriate. // Set the title.title = @"Locations".desiredAccuracy = kCLLocationAccuracyNearestTenMeters. then enable the button. } .enabled = NO. self.rightBarButtonItem = addButton.CHAPTER 2 The Table View Controller locationManager = [[CLLocationManager alloc] init].delegate = self.navigationItem. } Implementing the RootViewController Class 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc.(void)locationManager:(CLLocationManager *)manager didUpdateToLocation:(CLLocation *)newLocation fromLocation:(CLLocation *)oldLocation { addButton. addButton = [[UIBarButtonItem alloc] initWithBarButtonSystemItem:UIBarButtonSystemItemAdd target:self action:@selector(addEvent)]. locationManager. } Implementing viewDidLoad The viewDidLoad method needs to set up the Core Location manager and the Add and Edit buttons. // Start the location manager. If the Core Location manager is generating updates.editButtonItem.navigationItem.enabled = YES. then disable the button.(void)viewDidLoad { [super viewDidLoad]. // Set up the buttons. All Rights Reserved.leftBarButtonItem = self. return locationManager. locationManager. >> Replace the implementation of viewDidLoad with the following: .

[super dealloc]. In the applicationDidFinishLaunching: method. retain) UINavigationController *navigationController. . All Rights Reserved.h). create an instance of RootViewController and a navigation controller to contain it.CHAPTER 2 The Table View Controller Implement Methods for Memory Management >> Replace the existing implementations of viewDidUnload and dealloc.locationManager = nil.eventsArray = nil. >> In the application delegate’s header file (LocationsAppDelegate. >> Add the property declaration: @property (nonatomic. [locationManager release]. [eventsArray release]. [addButton release]. self. 18 Configuring the Application Delegate 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc.addButton = nil. self.(void)viewDidUnload { self. } Configuring the Application Delegate The application delegate is responsible for creating and configuring the root view controller and a navigation controller to contain it. You also need to pass the application’s managed object context to the new root view controller.(void)dealloc { [managedObjectContext release]. Add the Navigation Controller Property You need to add a property for the navigation controller. you need to: ■ ■ ■ Import the RootViewController’s header file. . Synthesize the navigationController property. } . The implementation of viewDidUnload should relinquish ownership of anything created in viewDidLoad that can be recreated.m). add an instance variable: UINavigationController *navigationController. Implement the Application Delegate In the application delegate’s implementation file (LocationsAppDelegate.

self. The navigation bar should contain the Edit and Add buttons: Build and Test 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. } Build and Test At this stage you should build and test the project to make sure that it all works. if (!context) { // Handle the error. [window makeKeyAndVisible].CHAPTER 2 The Table View Controller >> Before the @implementation block of the application delegate class. synthesize the navigation controller property: @synthesize navigationController. [rootViewController release]. RootViewController *rootViewController = [[RootViewController alloc] initWithStyle:UITableViewStylePlain]. import the RootViewController class’s header file: #import "RootViewController. rootViewController. 19 . NSManagedObjectContext *context = [self managedObjectContext].(void)applicationDidFinishLaunching:(UIApplication *)application { // Configure and show the window. UINavigationController *aNavigationController = [[UINavigationController alloc] initWithRootViewController:rootViewController]. } // Pass the managed object context to the view controller.managedObjectContext = context. [window addSubview:[navigationController view]]. >> Replace your application delegate’s applicationDidFinishLaunching: method with the following implementation: . All Rights Reserved.h" >> In the @implementation block of the application delegate class. [aNavigationController release]. It should display a blank table view with a navigation bar.navigationController = aNavigationController.

. though.CHAPTER 2 The Table View Controller The Add button will initially be disabled. the application will of course crash since you haven’t yet implemented the addEvent method. 20 Build and Test 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. That’s what you’ll do next. If you tap it. All Rights Reserved. but after a few seconds it should become enabled (as the location manager starts sending events). Before you can add an event. you need to define the Event entity.

>> Make sure you have the new entity selected in the entity pane so that you see information about the entity in the detail pane at the right. see Xcode Tools for Core Data. implement the corresponding class. you need to define the Event entity in the managed object model. You should see a new entry for the entity (called “Entity”) appear in the entity pane at the top left of the document editor. You can also use the Add button (+) at the lower left of the entity pane.) Your model should look similar to this: Modeling Your Data 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. and a graphical representation of the entity (a rounded rectangle) appear in the diagram view. in a similar way to that in which you create a user interface using Interface Builder. Now you can set the name for the new entity. latitude. Change the name of the entity to Event. in the Resources group select the model file (Locations. To do this. an Event. Modeling Your Data As noted in “The Managed Object Model” (page 12). Add the Entity First. with three attributes—creation date. >> In Xcode. (Don’t change the class name. There are actually several ways to edit the constituent parts of the model. >> Choose Design > Data Model > Add Entity to add a new entity to the model. and create an instance of the class in the add method. or use the shortcut menu within the diagram view in the model editor. All Rights Reserved. To learn more about the modeling tool. the model is a collection of entity and property description objects that tell Core Data about the managed objects in your application. 21 . This application has just a single entity. You can create the model programmatically. or use the Xcode modeling tool to create the model graphically. and other ways to edit the model. add an Event entity. these steps typically describe just one. and longitude.CHAPTER 3 Managed Object and Model The goal of this chapter is to allow users to create a new event when they tap the Add button.xcdatamodel) to display the model editor.

in some cases several entities may be represented by the same class—NSManagedObject. 22 Modeling Your Data 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. Now add attributes for latitude and longitude. Core Data is able to differentiate the instances on the basis of their associated entity description. then choose Design > Data Model > Add Attribute. then in the detail pane change the name of the attribute to creationDate. You need to set its name and type. >> Make sure you have selected Event in the entity browser. >> Make sure you have selected Event in the entity pane. Indeed. so the class name doesn’t have to be the same as the entity name. then choose Design > Data Model > Add Attribute twice (to add two attributes). All Rights Reserved. . Core Data uses the entity description to find out about the data objects it manages. >> Make sure you have selected the new attribute in the property pane.CHAPTER 3 Managed Object and Model There’s an important difference between the name of the entity and the name of the Objective-C class used to represent instances of the entity. add the attribute for the creation date. and select Date from the Type pop-up menu. Add the Attributes First. You don’t need to set any of the other values. You should see a new attribute (called newAttribute) appear in the property pane.

and in the detail pane change the Name of the attribute to latitude. select Managed Object Class. Depending on the version of Xcode you’re using. >>Choose File > New File. the Managed Object Class may be available in the iPhone OS section under Cocoa Touch Classes. 23 . then in the detail pane select Double from the Type pop-up menu. All Rights Reserved.CHAPTER 3 Managed Object and Model >> Select both the new attributes in the property pane. >>In Xcode. or you may need to choose the template in the Mac OS X section. In the New File dialog. and in the detail pane change the Name of the attribute to longitude. select the Event entity (the selection is used to indicate which items to create subclasses for). >> Select just the second new attribute in the property pane. in the model. The correct location and targets should have been selected for you. >>Click Next. under Cocoa—either will work correctly. Custom Managed Object Class 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. >> Select just the first new attribute in the property pane. Your model should look similar to this: Custom Managed Object Class You can now use Xcode to generate the files for a custom class to represent the Event entity. Click Next to accept them.

24 Core Data Recap 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. . you need to save it. the property values at runtime are instances of NSNumber. the properties are implemented as dynamic. >>Click Finish to generate the files. you’ll create instances of the entity. >>In the table view controller’s implementation file (RootViewController. see Xcode Tools for Core Data. Normally you might expect to see a dealloc method to release instance variables. Finally. >>Save the model file. with the Event entity selected. You then created a custom class to represent that entity.h" Core Data Recap You used the Xcode data modeling tool to create a new entity. (If you add your own instance variables that do not have corresponding properties in the managed object model. In the next chapter.m). The “Generate accessors” and “Generate Objective-C 2. All Rights Reserved. Core Data uses objects to represent values.) ■ The model is also updated—the Event entity is now represented by the Event class. all the attributes are represented by object values.0 properties” options should also be selected. ■ In the implementation file (Event. Normally you might expect to see synthesized. however Core Data is responsible for the life-cycle of all modeled properties of a managed object. however Core Data generates the accessor methods at runtime.m). Although you specified the latitude and longitude attribute types as Double.CHAPTER 3 Managed Object and Model You should see the Entity selection pane.m). there is no dealloc method. If you want to learn more about the modeling tools. after the initial import statement. ■ In the implementation file (Event. There are a few things to notice: ■ In the interface file (Event. import its header file in the table view controller’s implementation file. The Event class interface and implementation files are created and added to your project. Because the model was changed. because the table view controller is going to make use of the new class. add: #import "Event. then you need to manage those yourself as normal.h).

you need to set its location. If it’s not able to provide a location. which returns a properly initialized instance of the correct class for the entity you Implementing the addEvent Method 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. though. if (!location) { return. Implementing the addEvent Method You create new Event objects in the addEvent method.(void)addEvent { CLLocation *location = [locationManager location]. You get the location from the location manager.CHAPTER 4 Adding Events The goal of this chapter is to create the application logic to allow the user to create new event objects and display them in the user interface. then don’t continue. Get the Current Location When you create a new Event object. } } Create and Configure the Event object You typically create a managed object using a convenience method—insertNewObjectForEntityForName:inManagedObjectContext:—of NSEntityDescription. All Rights Reserved. declare the addEvent method. It has to: ■ ■ ■ ■ Get the current location Create an Event object and configure it using the current location information Save the Event object Update the events array and the user interface First. >> Add a declaration of the addEvent method to the RootViewController header file: . There are several parts to the method.(void)addEvent. 25 . >> Add the following to RootViewController implementation file: . Recall that it’s invoked when the user taps the Add button (see “Implementing viewDidLoad” (page 17)).

} In common with several Core Data methods. After you’ve created the object. inserted into the managed object context. it’s just that the return value from the save: method and the error parameter tend to bring into sharper focus the possibility of a problem occurring. (For more about the initialization process . You could get the time stamp from the location as well. Whatever changes you make—whether editing property values or adding or deleting whole objects—aren’t actually committed to the persistent store (file) until you save the context. [event setLongitude:[NSNumber numberWithDouble:coordinate.CHAPTER 4 Adding Events specify. you can set its property values using accessor methods. In this situation you might just present an alert sheet telling the user to restart the application. The situation is really no different from that in any other application. CLLocationCoordinate2D coordinate = [location coordinate]. You get the latitude and longitude from the location as scalar values. you save changes as soon as the user has made them.latitude]]. . 26 Implementing the addEvent Method 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. if (![managedObjectContext save:&error]) { // Handle the error. In a scenario as simple as that described in “Save the New Event” (page 26)—where the only change you expect is the addition of a single object—if the data can’t be saved it’s likely to be indicative of some sort of catastrophic failure from which recovery might be difficult or impossible. >> Add the following code at the end of the current implementation of addEvent: // Create and configure a new instance of the Event entity Event *event = (Event *)[NSEntityDescription insertNewObjectForEntityForName:@"Event" inManagedObjectContext:managedObjectContext]. here you can use date method of NSDate to get a date object representing the current date and time. Instead. Save the New Event Remember that the managed object context acts like a scratch pad (see “Managed Objects and the Managed Object Context” (page 11)). but this is a constant value on the simulator. All Rights Reserved. >> Add the following code at the end of the current implementation of addEvent: NSError *error. [event setLatitude:[NSNumber numberWithDouble:coordinate. just as you would any other object. Handling Errors It’s up to you to decide how you handle a Core Data error. so you need to convert these to NSNumber objects for the Event object. see Managed Objects in Core Data Programming Guide). Typically. the NSManagedObjectContext save: method takes an error parameter and returns a Boolean value to indicate success or failure.longitude]]. [event setCreationDate:[NSDate date]]. in an iPhone application.

you can interrogate the error object to find out what went wrong. so you don’t need to test the section number): . and Events are displayed with most recent events at the top of the list. you need to configure the table view cells to display information about each event. What information should you present to the user? What options might you give them for recovering from the problem? These are not questions that Core Data is able to answer. >> Replace the implementation of tableView:(UITableView *)tableView cellForRowAtIndexPath: with the following: Displaying Events in the Table View 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. All Rights Reserved. add a corresponding row to the top of the table view. In general. The next task is to complete the implementation of the table view data-source methods to display the events. NSIndexPath *indexPath = [NSIndexPath indexPathForRow:0 inSection:0]. First simply tell the table view how many events to display. >> Update the implementation of tableView:numberOfRowsInSection: to return the number of objects in the events array (there’s only one section. you need to add the new Event object to the events array. Update the Events Array and the Table View Finally. then update the table view. } Next. or added or deleted managed objects in such a way that either an individual object is in an inconsistent state (validation fails) or the object graph as a whole is inconsistent.(NSInteger)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView numberOfRowsInSection:(NSInteger)section { return [eventsArray count]. [self. You’ll see there is a nontrivial amount of code. add the new object to the beginning of the events array. If you have more than one managed object context. it’s also possible that the persistent store was updated when changes made in a different context were committed and so the objects in the current context are inconsistent with the corresponding records in the store. Displaying Events in the Table View You need to update two table view data-source methods to display the events. >> Add the following code at the end of the current implementation of addEvent: [eventsArray insertObject:event atIndex:0]. Since this is a new Event. [self.tableView insertRowsAtIndexPaths:[NSArray arrayWithObject:indexPath] withRowAnimation:UITableViewRowAnimationFade]. but most of it is related to user interface and display rather than data management. 27 .tableView scrollToRowAtIndexPath:[NSIndexPath indexPathForRow:0 inSection:0] atScrollPosition:UITableViewScrollPositionTop animated:YES]. You should think carefully about what the user experience should be in the event of an error occurring.CHAPTER 4 Adding Events In a more complex scenario. the user might have changed property values. then scroll the table view to show the new row.

[dateFormatter setTimeStyle:NSDateFormatterMediumStyle]. All Rights Reserved. The application should also launch and run correctly. add the following line to the end of the RootViewController object’s implementation of viewDidLoad: eventsArray = [[NSMutableArray alloc] init]. } // A number formatter for the latitude and longitude static NSNumberFormatter *numberFormatter = nil. until you tap the Add button—at which point it will crash. NSString *string = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@. [numberFormatter stringFromNumber:[event longitude]]]. >> Solely for testing purposes. // Dequeue or create a new cell UITableViewCell *cell = [tableView dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier:CellIdentifier]. cell. it should compile without errors. cell.CHAPTER 4 Adding Events . [numberFormatter stringFromNumber:[event latitude]].detailTextLabel. if (dateFormatter == nil) { dateFormatter = [[NSDateFormatter alloc] init]. This is because the events array hasn’t been created yet.textLabel.text = string.text = [dateFormatter stringFromDate:[event creationDate]]. } static NSString *CellIdentifier = @"Cell". if (numberFormatter == nil) { numberFormatter = [[NSNumberFormatter alloc] init].(UITableViewCell *)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView cellForRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath { // A date formatter for the time stamp static NSDateFormatter *dateFormatter = nil. if (cell == nil) { cell = [[[UITableViewCell alloc] initWithStyle:UITableViewCellStyleSubtitle reuseIdentifier:CellIdentifier] autorelease]. . } Event *event = (Event *)[eventsArray objectAtIndex:indexPath.row]. [dateFormatter setDateStyle:NSDateFormatterMediumStyle]. [numberFormatter setNumberStyle:NSNumberFormatterDecimalStyle]. %@". } Build and Test If you build the project. return cell. [numberFormatter setMaximumFractionDigits:3]. 28 Build and Test 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc.

All Rights Reserved. This method ensures that you get a properly initialized instance of the class that represents the entity you specify. >> Delete the line you added for testing. If you quit and relaunch the application. ■ You get and set a managed object’s property values using accessor methods. just as you would any other object. the changes are held in memory until you invoke save:. restore the project to its pre-testing state. you should find that if you tap the Add button new events are displayed in the table view. you need to save the managed object context. though. you won’t see the list of Events when it starts up. ■ To commit changes to the persistent store. Core Data Recap 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc.CHAPTER 4 Adding Events If you build and run now. Before doing that. but using accessor methods is much more efficient (see Using Managed Objects in Core Data Programming Guide). Core Data Recap There was a lot of code in this chapter. It’s up to you to decide how to deal with any error that might occur during a save operation. just as you would any other object. The important points are that: ■ You typically create a new managed object using the convenience method insertNewObjectForEntityForName:inManagedObjectContext: of NSEntityDescription. and not much related directly to Core Data. The context acts as a scratch pad. you need to populate the events array on launch with the existing Event objects. You can also use key-value coding. This is your task in the next chapter. 29 . if you add or modify objects. To remedy this.

CHAPTER 4 Adding Events 30 Core Data Recap 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. All Rights Reserved. .

whose salary is greater than a certain amount.) The sort order is represented by an array of NSSortOrdering objects. you might create a fetch request to retrieve Employee objects. you can also use a fetched results controller—NSFetchedResultsController—to manage a result set for you. It may also specify any constraints on the values that the objects should have and what order you want them back in. It works hard to ensure that as little data as possible is held in memory.CHAPTER 5 Fetching Events The goal of this chapter is to fetch existing Event objects when the application launches.) Fetching Managed Objects 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. For example. (For more about predicates see Predicate Programming Guide. you need a managed object context and a fetch request. All Rights Reserved. (If you’re displaying objects in a table view. Fetching Managed Objects To fetch objects from a persistent store. it specifies the entity you’re interested in. ordered by name. The constraints are represented by a predicate—an instance of NSPredicate. As a minimum. 31 . Execute fetch request Entity (table name) Employee Predicate (optional) salary > 60000 Sort orderings (optional) name: ascending alphabetical Fetch Request Managed Object Context Returns Persistent Store Coordinator Array Query Response Persistent Object Store name salary Managed Object Fred 97000 name salary Managed Object Juli 90000 Unless you really need all the objects of a particular entity. A fetch request is an instance of NSFetchRequest. in a corporate information application. you should use a predicate to limit the number of objects returned to those you’re actually interested in.

The events array needs to be mutable since the user can add and remove events. create a sort descriptor to order Event objects by creation date—most recent first—and a mutable array. and you could do it yourself easily enough. but it’s much more convenient to use the class method. if necessary. it should fetch the Event objects and keep them in the events array so that they can be displayed later. then ask it for its related Department. the method then asks for the (managed object) context’s (persistent store) coordinator’s (managed object) model and retrieves from that the entity with the name you specified (you can refer back to “The Core Data Stack” (page 11) to see a pictorial representation). you therefore need to specify a sort descriptor for the fetch. To retrieve the Events in chronological order. if you execute a fetch to retrieve an Employee object. Core Data.CHAPTER 5 Fetching Events Note that you don’t always need to execute a fetch to retrieve objects. and first name). Conceptually it’s not very difficult (you just navigate down the stack). [sortDescriptors release]. All Rights Reserved. [sortDescriptor release]. nil]. Add the sort descriptor to the array. Create the Request Create a fetch request and set the entity. . you need to put the sort descriptor in an array. automatically retrieves objects that are at the destination of a relationship. [request setEntity:entity]. You provide the name of the entity you want and the managed object context you’re dealing with. last name. then Core Data fetches the Department for you if it hadn’t already been fetched. the order in which objects are returned from a fetch is undefined. The method of interest here is NSEntityDescription’s entityForName:inManagedObjectContext:. Because you might want to specify multiple sort orderings (for example. 32 Creating and Executing the Request 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. you might want to sort employees by department. NSEntityDescription *entity = [NSEntityDescription entityForName:@"Event" inManagedObjectContext:managedObjectContext]. >> Add the following code at the end of the current implementation of viewDidLoad: NSFetchRequest *request = [[NSFetchRequest alloc] init]. [request setSortDescriptors:sortDescriptors]. and set the array as the fetch request’s sortDescriptors array: NSSortDescriptor *sortDescriptor = [[NSSortDescriptor alloc] initWithKey:@"creationDate" ascending:NO]. >> At the end of the current implementation of viewDidLoad. Creating and Executing the Request When the table view controller loads its view. Set the Sort Descriptor If you don’t specify a sort descriptor. For example. NSArray *sortDescriptors = [[NSArray alloc] initWithObjects:sortDescriptor.

Finish Up The final steps are to set the view controller’s events array instance variable and to release objects that were allocated. [request release]. As a minimum. this example leaves it up to you to decide how to handle any error (see “Handling Errors” (page 26)). so make a mutable copy of the result. You get the entity using the convenience method entityForName:inManagedObjectContext: of NSEntityDescription.CHAPTER 5 Fetching Events (It’s often useful to use the initWithObjects: method of NSArray in case you want to add more sort descriptors later. Build and Test 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc.) Execute the Request Having created a fetch request. All Rights Reserved. you need to specify an entity. NSMutableArray *mutableFetchResults = [[managedObjectContext executeFetchRequest:request error:&error] mutableCopy]. [mutableFetchResults release]. >> Add the following code at the end of the current implementation of viewDidLoad: NSError *error. Core Data Recap The important points from this chapter are that: ■ You fetch managed objects by creating a fetch request. you should find that it compiles correctly and that existing Event objects are displayed when the application launches. >> Add the following code at the end of the current implementation of viewDidLoad: [self setEventsArray:mutableFetchResults]. you now execute it. } As previously. 33 . Build and Test If you build and run the application. You might also specify a predicate and an array of sort orderings. The events array needs to be mutable. if (mutableFetchResults == nil) { // Handle the error.

then ask it for its related Department. though: Core Data. if necessary. . This wasn’t addressed directly in code. if you execute a fetch to retrieve an Employee object. automatically retrieves objects that are at the destination of a relationship. To repeat the point made earlier. since there are no relationships in this tutorial. ■ You don’t always need to explicitly fetch managed objects.CHAPTER 5 Fetching Events To ensure that you retrieve no more objects than necessary (and so keep memory usage down). you should typically try to constrain your request as narrowly as possible using a predicate. 34 Core Data Recap 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. All Rights Reserved. Core Data fetches the Department for you if it hasn’t already been fetched. For example.

Deleting Managed Objects 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. // Update the array and table view. All Rights Reserved.(void)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView commitEditingStyle:(UITableViewCellEditingStyle)editingStyle forRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath { if (editingStyle == UITableViewCellEditingStyleDelete) { // Delete the managed object at the given index path. it doesn’t mean a record automatically is created for that object in the database—you need to save the context. 2. Deleting an Event To handle deletion. you implement the table view data source method tableView:commitEditingStyle:forRowAtIndexPath:. Update the table view. It should do this only if the action is a delete. Deleting Managed Objects As you saw when you created a new managed object. using the deleteObject: method of NSManagedObjectContext. Save the changes. It needs to do three things: 1. Then to actually destroy the record. >> In the RootViewController implementation file. NSManagedObject *eventToDelete = [eventsArray objectAtIndex:indexPath. [managedObjectContext deleteObject:eventToDelete]. simply because an object is deallocated does not mean that the corresponding record itself is destroyed. If you create a managed object. the lifetime of a record in the database is not tied to the lifetime of a given managed object.row]. you tell the managed object context to mark an object as deleted. Similarly. 3.CHAPTER 6 Deleting Events The goal of this chapter is to allow the user to delete events from the list. To delete a record. [eventsArray removeObjectAtIndex:indexPath. 35 . Delete the selected object.row]. implement the tableView:commitEditingStyle:forRowAtIndexPath: method as follows: . you commit the action using save:.

All Rights Reserved. You’ve now completed the tutorial. or you use a convenience class method to accomplish a particular task that would otherwise require you to access them. You should find that it compiles and runs without error. You may have noticed that. NSError *error. Some suggestions are given in the next chapter. You also changed some of its property values. You can start investigating ways to enhance your knowledge and understanding of Core Data. Created an instance of a managed object.CHAPTER 6 Deleting Events [tableView deleteRowsAtIndexPaths:[NSArray arrayWithObject:indexPath] withRowAnimation:YES]. You also created a custom class to represent the entity. If you tap Edit. Although you have access to the other objects in the stack. 36 Build and Test 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. the row you deleted should no longer be visible. // Commit the change. Deleted a managed object. Fetched managed objects. the table view should enter edit mode. you often don’t need to use them directly. if (![managedObjectContext save:&error]) { // Handle the error. Either the Xcode template takes care of setting them up. } } } Build and Test Build and test the application. If you delete a row. in performing these tasks. the only object in the Core Data stack (see “The Core Data Stack” (page 11)) with which you interacted directly was the managed object context. If you quit and relaunch the application. it should be properly deleted from the table view. Core Data Recap You’ve now performed the basic tasks you need to be familiar with to use Core Data—you: ■ ■ ■ ■ Created an entity in a managed object model. .

but it’s worth practicing using one with a smaller data set. Where to Go from Here Here are some suggestions for ways in which you can enhance your understanding of Core Data and how you can integrate it in your applications. as suggested in “A Drill-Down Interface” (page 38). This will be essential if you want to create applications that contain entities that are related to each other. First. Creating a Managed Object Model with Xcode Work through the tutorial Creating a Managed Object Model with Xcode. Where to Go from Here 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. your application typically won’t be able to open files you created with an earlier version. try to update the Locations application to use an NSFetchedResultsController object. It’s similar in many respects to this tutorial. 37 . and in particular how to establish relationships between entities. and reinforces the idea of the managed object model being just a collection of objects—by having you create one programatically. if you change the schema in your managed object model. though.CHAPTER 7 Next Steps The goal of this chapter is to suggest what steps you might take next to enhance your understanding of Core Data and how you can use it in future applications. For comparison. You will learn more about the Xcode tools for Core Data. As you explore. A fetched results controller is intended primarily to make fetching large numbers of objects much more efficient. you can turn to the Core Data Programming Guide for help. It introduces a couple of new concepts regarding the lifecycle of a managed object. but it’s freed from the distraction of a user interface. All Rights Reserved. look at the CoreDataBooks example. Use a Fetched Results Controller Turning back to iPhone. The Core Data Utility Tutorial It’s worth turning away from the iPhone for a short while and working through Core Data Utility Tutorial. This is an issue that you might address as your experience grows (see Core Data Model Versioning and Data Migration Programming Guide). there are some easier steps to take. One important item to remember is that.

Core Data automatically fulfills the fault and retrieves the corresponding data for you. See PhotoLocations for an example. consider the memory management implications of fetching a photograph with every Event you retrieve from the store. Add an Add Sheet An Add sheet allows you to enter more information about an event when you create it. The TaggedLocations sample provides an example of using a second entity with a to-many relationship. Think also about how you might keep the edits made to the Event object in the Add sheet discrete from edits made in the rest of the application. with a relationship from the Event entity to the Photo entity (and a reciprocal relationship from the photo to the event) When you retrieve just a single Event object. You need to add more properties to the Event entity. Core Data has a feature called faulting (see Managed Objects in Core Data Programming Guide) which means that it doesn’t have to complete the object graph.CHAPTER 7 Next Steps A Drill-Down Interface Extend the Locations application to provide a drill-down interface to allow users to inspect an event—perhaps to edit comments or a add photograph. If you ask an event for its photo. Think about what information you might pass to the Add sheet controller. If you add a photograph. and perhaps a second entity.) 38 A Drill-Down Interface 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. You would typically model the photograph as a separate entity. All Rights Reserved. the photo relationship may be represented by a fault. (Hint: you might consider using two managed object contexts—see the CoreDataBooks example. .

.REVISION HISTORY Document Revision History This table describes the changes to Core Data Tutorial for iPhone OS. Date 2009-09-09 2009-06-04 2009-03-19 Notes Corrected links to sample applications. All Rights Reserved. First version of a tutorial that introduces application development for iPhone using Core Data. 2009-03-15 39 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. Added a missing line of code to the implementation of applicationDidFinishLaunching:. Corrected typographical errors.

.REVISION HISTORY Document Revision History 40 2009-09-09 | © 2009 Apple Inc. All Rights Reserved.