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Core Data for iOS: Developing Data-Driven Applications for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch Paperback – June 3, 2011

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321670427 ISBN-10: 0321670426 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Today, virtually every non-trivial iPhone and iPad app must manage data—quickly, smoothly, reliably, and with minimal impact on the CPU to conserve battery life. Core Data, Apple’s ready-made data persistence layer, can help you achieve all these goals. In Core Data for iOS, two leading iOS developers teach you the entire Core Data framework from the ground up. Writing for intermediate-to-advanced iOS developers, Tim Isted and Tom Harrington thoroughly explain how Core Data is used on iOS devices, introduce each of its primary classes, and show how they interact to provide amazing functionality with minimal configuration. You’ll learn how to store, fetch, and validate data; provide it efficiently to views; and much more. Isted and Harrington first give you a firm grounding in the technology, and then present real-world examples. They present multiple sample projects, as well as a start-to-finish, chapter-length case study. Coverage includes


• Understanding Core Data’s features, classes, and interactions

• Using Core Data in MVC-based iOS app development

• Mapping relational data to object models, and building them with Xcode 4’s Data Modeler

• Working with managed objects and using UITableView to display them

• Creating predicates to match numbers, data, and objects

• Maintaining compatibility across versions of an app’s data model

• Tracking managed object contexts across view controllers

• Using Core Data’s automatic Undo functionality

• Integrating abstract entities, entity inheritance, and multiple view controllers into a complete app

• Optimizing for iOS devices’ tight memory limits

• Diagnosing and fixing common Core Data problems


Introducing Addison-Wesley’s new Core Frameworks Series, written for experienced iOS developers by world-class Mac and iOS developers, these are the first comprehensive, code-rich reference guides to Apple’s Core Frameworks.


About the Author

Tim Isted has been writing software for Macintosh computers since 1995. He also builds web applications using Rails, PHP, and .NET and has been known to develop for Windows machines too. Also a professional musician and singing teacher, he tries to divide his time fairly equally between conducting, accompanying, teaching, and writing software. Previous musings on Core Data for desktop development can be found on his blog at, and he is also co-organizer of NSConference, a new Mac developer conference taking place in both Europe and the USA.


Tom Harrington switched from writing software for embedded systems and Linux to Mac OS X in 2002 when he started Atomic Bird, LLC. After six years of developing highly regarded Mac software he moved to iPhone in 2008. He develops iOS software on a contract basis for a variety of clients. Tom also organizes iOS developer events in Colorado. When not writing software he can often be found on his mountain bike. His website is



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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (June 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321670426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321670427
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,667,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By BillInGeorgia on June 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Note: I did receive the example code from the author of this book. He is working with the Publisher to get the code available on their website. Meantime he noted he is glad to make it available simply by emailing him a request.

Got my copy yesterday and have been skimming through it. Recently started another book on the same topic by APress. Both appear to be good books but this one I have been waiting over a year for. I am not disappointed in the wait because the book is up to date on the latest iOS at the time of publishing. Just glancing through the book, I can tell it is written by two iOS veteran programmers who are there to guide the reader with best practices and a lot of things to watch out for. For example, there is a section describing various ways of storing binary large objects (BLOBS) and the authors present a handful of options and explain when each can be useful and what to watch out for with respect to memory management and future needs to adjust the object model with new versions.

I plan to update this review after working through the sample code and reading the book cover to cover. But for now, I can say that in the handful of pages I have read over, the book has well paid for itself in helping me understand how to write a professional class application. I am fairly new to iPhone development having only a single app for sale on Apple's App Store. If I had this book during development of that application, it would be a far better app in many respects related to data storage. Looking forward to my next app which will use Core Data with the help provided in this book. Thanks to the authors!

2nd Update (7/6/11)
I felt compelled to update my review and also to comment on the other reviewer who noted that chapter 5 is confusing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DieselDM on July 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I keep this by my desk when I'm coding for iOS. It's great for reference and every time I go to look something up I find a concrete answer. The sections on predicates is also very good and I reference it often. If you're brand new to Core Data on iOS, this is a great starting point, or if you're more experienced and are looking for a quick reference book, this book is for you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark H. Granoff on December 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this book and loved it. Now, to set the tone of this review, I will say that I am an experienced software developer, and had a little experience with Core Data prior to getting the book. The book is not en entry-level book, nor should it be; Core Data is a complicated framework. The book assumes, as it must, that the reader knows something already about Cocoa development, Objective-C, and memory management. I think that's reasonable given the sophistication of the topic.

I've read many technical books on varying topics in the iOS ecosystem, some good, some not so good. This book is excellent, in my opinion. The topic coverage is both broad and deep. The information is presented clearly and logically, and the examples are spot on and easy to grasp. What I think is more notable, however, is that this book is not just going to sit on my shelf now that I've read it. It is going to be a constant reference for me, which is, I think, what makes a good book great.

I highly recommend this book if you want to understand Core Data including and beyond the basics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ThatGuy on October 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is really good for what it is. This is an intro to using core data. It expects that the readers to have a firm understanding of Objective - C. If you do not, one of Apple's best written guides is their guide to Objective-C, so start there. Databasing is a rough topic for most computer science students that typically have a two plus years of experience and courses on the formal math analysis that is used to construct databases.

I have bachelor level Comp Sci,(Scientific computation/ OS Focus) under my belt. Two semesters on Databasing. The apple documentation was acceptable to get me started, but this book helped me get through some of the nuances of apples documentation. My brother who is a Theoretical mathematician had a lot of trouble working with databases and this book clarified a lot for him.

If you want to create pro custom stores, make sure you have the background to be able to do so. I am not saying a college degree or courses are required but just remember that those learning these things by drilling from the top down are missing some major pieces. I can write a compiler and implement a custom computer architecture. I cant do these things well, because I haven't done them sense I was a senior, but they do give me a leg up in being able to catch on to how systems work.

This book was great for both an individual with a formal background in Computing and a non computing background. You are not going to be a pro DBA after reading it but it can get you started. Many books out there to be a DBA and they require a lot of math and comp org/arch background. But to make useable semi optimum databases for an app this book will get you there.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Farish on September 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading this book, I now have a strong foundation of developing with core data. Being a first edition book there are errors. An errata listing somewhere would be great (or maybe I just could not find it). My programming is strong enough that I was able to handle the errors in the later chapters with very little issues. In the beginning it is stated that the audience for this book is for intermediate to advanced ios developers. What I wanted was the ability to give this book 4.5 stars but amazon does not offer that.

Here are the strengths of the book.

.... In the early chapters it explains the concept of core data. It help me understand how to structure the tables to use with an application. After I was done, I understood how to think in Core Data, which was one of my big issues.

.... Data migration and Versioning so you can expand your application without problems was explain in a manner where I understand it clearly now.

.... The way the book has you work with Random People application, you start to gain an understanding of how to approach developing a core data app from the ground up.

So this book would be a great choice to build a foundation on, I just feel that any book especially first editions should offer an errata support system.

other than that, I would say I value this book at 4.5 stars.
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