sModel is a Swift framework written on top of FMDB to provide simple but powerful ORM tools for managing data in a SQLite database.

What's New


  • Provide module level database definition so individual modules can own their model objects and the db tables that back them.


sModel is a Swift framework written on top of FMDB to provide:

  • Simple management of your database schema (including schema updates)
  • Simple mapping of database rows to Swift objects
  • Batch updates for improved performance on large updates
  • Simplified handling of local data that gets synchronized with external data

The sModel library has been used for many years on multiple apps found in the AppStore. This code is production ready and has been battle tested by millions of users across multiple apps. Compatible with Swift 5.

DB Schema Management

sModel takes an array of DBDef objects that each contain an array of sql strings needed to setup your database. The order in which these sql strings are executed matters so we recommend storing them in an array. Each sql string is guaranteed to run once and only once for the lifetime of your app's installation on a device. Simply add a new sql string to the end of your array to adjust your schema as your app requires and the next time the app runs, sModel will update your db schema.

NOTE: Never remove old sql strings. These strings will be executed for new installs and will ensure that the database schema is consistently constructed on all devices.

let defs: [String] = ["CREATE TABLE \"Thing\" (\"tid\" TEXT PRIMARY KEY, \"name\" TEXT);"]
try?, dbDefs: defs)

DBDef Module Support

Modules can provide their own DBDef file that defines the sql strings needed to support the database needs of the module. Each module defines a namespace that can be used to allow it's tables to coexist with tables from other modules/apps.

Bad Upgrade Recovery

If a database file is corrupted or can't be updated for some reason, the system will try and recover by deleting the existing database and initializing fresh.

Object Mapping

sModel will read data out of your database and map it into your models. For this to work, you simply adopt the ModelDef protocol. Here's an example model struct to match our db schema definition above.

struct Thing: ModelDef {
  var tid: String
  var name: String?

  typealias ModelType = Thing
  static let tableName = "Thing"
  var primaryKeys: Array<CodingKey> { return [CodingKeys.tid] }
  var secondaryKeys: Array<CodingKey> { return [] }

sModel favors being explicit rather than infering information about your configuration. That is why you will need to specify the name of the database table your model object will be stored in. This explicitness avoids any "magic" and provides you flexibility to configure things however makes sense for your project.

ModelDefs can safely use properties of type Int, Double, Bool, String, and Date. You can even have properties that are enums as long as the enum conforms to the Codable protocol.


Inserting an object into the database is as simple as creating an instance of that object, populating it with data, and calling save.

let thing = Thing(tid: "tid1", name: "thing 1")

To update an existing object, just modify its properties and call save.

Note: If a call to save results in a constraint violation, by default the system will throw a ModelError.duplicate error that contains the existing model object from the database that caused the constraint violation. Handling of constraint violations can be changed table by table by adopting the SyncableModel protocol or globably via the DBManager.blindlyReplaceDuplicates flag. See comments on those properties for details.

Handling Syncable Data

ModelDefs can be flagged as syncable by implementing the SyncableModel protocol. This is helpful when you have data in your database that might be changed locally while you are getting updates from an external source (e.g., updates from a server). A SyncableModel will prevent local changes from being overwritten by server updates. This is accomplished by using the syncStatus and syncInFlightStatus fields to track the current sync state of the row. The system will not allow rows that are not currently synced to be updated using only a secondary key. This assumes that your table's primary key is a local only value and server updates will only be providing a value for the secondary key.

Sync States

Correctly handling sync states is important if you are using SyncableModels. Row updates will only occur if:

  1. You provide the primary key for the row OR
  2. You provide the secondary key for the row and the syncStatus and syncInFlightStatus properties are both set to .synced in the database.

Sticky Properties

A sticky property is a nullable property that cannot be set to null once it's been given a value. This is helpful for properties that are expensive to compute but are nice to retain across object updates. ModelDefs can be flagged as containing sticky properties by implementing the StickyProperties protocol.

Batch Processing

Managing objects using the save or delete methods works great with smaller sets of data but has a noticable performance hit when dealing with large amounts of data. The DBManager.executeStatements method will take an array of statements and execute them all as part of a single database transaction. That means if one statement fails all of the changes are rolled back which prevents your database from getting into a corrupted state. It also dramatically improves the speed in which data can be added/updated/removed from the database. Database statements can either be generated manually or via a ModelDef object's createSaveStatement and createDeleteStatement methods.


Querying data out of the database is also very straightforward. Each model object has a set of static methods that can be used to query the database.

let things = Thing.allInstances() //Returns Array<Thing> that holds every instance of `Thing`

// Where clauses
let thing = Thing.firstInstanceWhere("tid = ?", "tid1") //Returns a Thing?
let someThings = Thing.instancesWhere("tid in (?, ?)", "tid1", "tid2") //Return Array<Thing> for each `Thing` that matches the where clause

Full Working Example

To see how all the parts work together, a full working example is available in the tests/sModelTests/example folder. This includes schema definition files, model examples, and code exercising all of the CRUD operations available in sModel. The other unit tests can also be used to see how each of the public apis can be used.

There is also a setup of tests available in tests/TestModules that demonstrate how individual modules can contain their own schema definitions and model objects.


  • Swift Tools 5.2.0


Last updated: Thu May 13 2021 04:26:55 GMT-0500 (GMT-05:00)