Tag Archives: NSManagedObject

How to add a custom initialiser to a Managed Object in Core Data

NSManagedObjects behave differently to NSObjects on many levels. If you’d like to add custom start-up behaviour in your NSManagedObjects, you’ll have noticed that overriding the standard init method isn’t working.

Instead, we can use the awakeFromFetch method. This is called automatically when a managed object is retrieved from the Core Data stack:

Use this to set default values or initialise methods in your NSManagedObject classes.

How to delete an NSManagedObject in Core Data

You can delete individual objects by using the NSManagedObjectContext method deleteObject, like so:

To delete all managed objects from your store, you can use a for-in loop:

I assume that you have created managed object sub classes. I’m also assuming that you have access to save the context. If not, here’s what the method looks like (taken from AppDelegate with Core Data template):

How to retrieve a Managed Object in Core Data Fetch Requests

Retrieving Managed Objects is somewhat more complex than creating them, mainly because you can filter what you’re getting back rather than retrieve everything that your store file has to offer.

Let’s first illustrate a basic NSFetchRequest. For the following examples I’m using the iOS Master/Detail template which provides an Entity called Event with a property called timeStamp. I’ve created custom subclasses for this entity. Press the add button a few times so we have some data, then quit the application.

Basic Fetch Request

Here’s how we can retrieve all our values using a basic Fetch Request:


The easiest way to get this code is by using a code snippet from the Xcode library (search for fetch, the first one is a “basic fetch”).

Note that the results are unfiltered, which means they’re not necessarily in the order you would like them to be in. To remedy this, you can use a Sort Descriptor:

Fetch Request with Sort Descriptors

You can pass more than one Sort Descriptor, hence we need to pass an NSArray to the fetch request. A usage example would be “list all employers alphabetically, in order of which they’ve started working”. To do this, create another sort descriptor, then add both to the array.

The easiest way to get this is to use the Xcode Code Snippets again, this time select the “fetch with sorting” and it will have all this code ready for you.

Fetch Request using a Predicate

Predicates are filters with which you can specify conditions, such as “is this date older than x”, “does the first name contain steve”, and so forth. I have written a more in-depth article on Predictates elsewhere on this site and won’t go into the details.

Here’s how you create a Fetch Request with a Predicate, combined with a Sort Descriptor:


If you don’t need the Sort Descriptor, just remove that code from the example. This snippet is also available from Xcode and is called “fetch with predicate”.

For more information on Predicates, check out Apple’s Predicate Programming Guide.


How to create a Managed Object in Core Data

Assuming you’re using an app template that includes Core Data, you will have access to the Managed Object Context. In the simplest form, and without custom Entity classes setup, you can use key/value coding to set your object’s properties. In fact, the Master/Detail template does this.

Here’s an example for an Entity named Event with two properties (myKey and anotherKey):

If you have created custom NSManagedObject subclasses for your Entity then you can create an object like this:

The KVC method will always work, regardless if you have custom classes or not. Custom Classes have the advantage that you can add custom behaviour (i.e. methods), and of course code completion in Xcode.

Note that these snippets will create an object, but your values are only stored once you save the Managed Object Context: