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Server-Side Swift with Vapor

The definitive book on building web apps and web APIs using Server-Side Swift with Vapor, written by the creators of the Vapor 4 framework. By Logan Wright, Tanner Nelson, Jonas Schwartz & Tim Condon.

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Who is this for?

This book is for iOS developers who already know the basics of iOS and Swift development and want to transfer that knowledge to writing server based applications.

Covered concepts

  • HTTP
  • Fluent
  • Controllers
  • Leaf
  • Middleware

Learn how to build web apps and web APIs using Swift and the Vapor 4 framework!

If you’re a beginner to web development, but have worked with Swift for some time, you’ll find it’s easy to create robust, fully featured web apps and web APIs with Vapor 4.

Whether you’re...

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Before You Begin

This section tells you a few things you need to know before you get started, such as what you’ll need for hardware and software, where to find the project files for this book, and more.

Section I: Creating a Simple Web API

This section teaches you the beginnings of building Vapor applications, including how to use Swift Package Manager. You’ll learn how routing works and how Vapor leverages the power of Swift to make routing type-safe. You’ll learn how to create models, set up relationships between them and save them in a database. You’ll see how to provide an API to access this data from a REST client. Finally, you’ll build an iOS app which leverages this API to allow users to display and interact with the data.

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Get a quick overview of the history of the Vapor project and how the book is structured.
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In this chapter, you’ll start by installing the Vapor Toolbox, then use it to build and run your first project. You’ll finish by learning about routing, accepting data and returning JSON.
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Before you begin your journey with Vapor, you’ll first review the fundamentals of how the web and HTTP operate, including its methods and most common response codes. You’ll also learn how Vapor differs from other Swift frameworks, its benefits, and how it can augment your web development experience.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn about asynchronous and non-blocking architectures. You’ll discover Vapor’s approach to these architectures and how to use them. Finally, the chapter provides a small overview of SwiftNIO, a core technology used by Vapor.
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This chapter explains how to use Fluent to save data in Vapor applications. Fluent is Vapor’s ORM or object relational mapping tool. It’s an abstraction layer between the Vapor application and the database, and it’s designed to make working with databases easier.
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Databases allow you to persist data in your applications. In this chapter you’ll learn how to configure your Vapor application to integrate with the database of your choice. Currently Vapor only has support for relational (SQL) databases but this will change in the future.
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This chapter concentrates on how to interact with models in the database. You’ll learn about CRUD (Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete) operations and how they relate to REST APIs. You’ll also see how to leverage Fluent to perform complex queries on your models.
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In previous chapters, you wrote all the route handlers in one file. This isn’t sustainable for large projects as the file quickly becomes too big and cluttered. This chapter introduces the concept of controllers to help manage your routes and models, using both basic controllers and RESTful controllers.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to set up a parent-child relationship between two models. You’ll learn the purpose of these relationships, how to model them in Vapor and how to use them with routes.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to implement the other type of relationship: sibling relationships. You’ll learn how to model them in Vapor and how to use them in routes.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to write tests for your Vapor applications. You’ll learn why testing is important and how it works with Swift Package Manager. Then, you’ll learn how to write tests for the TIL application from the previous chapters. Finally, you’ll see why testing matters on Linux and how to test your code on Linux using Docker.
In the previous chapters, you created an API and interacted with it using RESTed. However, users expect something a bit nicer to use TIL! The next two chapters show you how to build a simple iOS app that interacts with the API. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to create different models and get models from the database.
In this chapter, you’ll expand the app to include viewing details about a single acronym. You’ll also learn how to perform the final CRUD operations: edit and delete. Finally, you’ll learn how to add acronyms to categories.

Section II: Making a Simple Web App

This section teaches you how to build a front-end web site for your Vapor application. You’ll learn to use Leaf, Vapor’s templating engine, to generate dynamic web pages to display your app’s data. You’ll also learn how to accept data from a browser so that users can create and edit your models. This section will provide you the necessary building blocks to build a full website with Vapor.

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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to use Leaf Vapor’s templating language to make simple and dynamic websites using Vapor. Leaf allows you to pass information to a webpage so it can generate the final HTML without knowing everything up front.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to use the Bootstrap framework to add styling to your pages. You’ll also learn how to embed templates so you only have to make changes in one place. Next, you’ll also see how to serve files with Vapor.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to create different models and how to edit acronyms.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to allow users to add categories to acronyms in a user-friendly way.

Section III: Validation, Users & Authentication

This section shows you how to protect your Vapor application with authentication. You’ll learn how to add password protection to both the API and the website, which lets you require users to log in. You’ll learn about different types of authentication: HTTP Basic authentication and token-based authentication for the API, and cookie- and session-based authentication for the web site.

Finally, you’ll learn how to integrate with Google, Github and Apple’s OAuth providers. This allows you to delegate authentication and allow users to utilize their Google, Github or Apple account credentials to access your site.

These chapters will allow you to secure your important routes and keep only allowed routes as unauthenticated. You’ll also learn how to delegate the authentication duties to third party vendors while still keeping your application secure.

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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to protect your API with authentication. You’ll learn how to implement both HTTP basic authentication and token authentication in your API. You’ll also learn best practices for storing passwords and authenticating users.
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Now that you’ve implemented API authentication, neither your tests nor the iOS application work any longer. In this chapter, you’ll learn the techniques needed to account for the new authentication requirements.
In this chapter, you’ll see how to implement authentication for the TIL website. You’ll see how authentication works on the web and how Vapor’s Authentication module provides all the necessary support. You’ll then see how to protect different routes on the website. Next, you’ll learn how to use cookies and sessions to your advantage.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to use Vapor’s Validation library to verify some of the information users send the application. You’ll create a registration page on the website for users to sign up. You’ll validate the data from this form and display an error message if the data isn’t correct.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to use OAuth 2.0 to delegate authentication to Google, so users can log in with their Google accounts instead.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to use OAuth 2.0 to delegate authentication to GitHub, so users can log in with their GitHub accounts instead.

Section IV: Advanced Server Side Swift

This section covers a number of different topics you may need to consider when developing server-side applications. These chapters will provide you the necessary building blocks to continue on your Vapor adventure and build even more complex and wonderful applications.

The chapters in this section deal with more advanced topics for Vapor and were written by the Vapor Core Team members.

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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to integrate an email service to send emails to users. You’ll also learn how to use emails to reset user passwords which is a common operation in most web applications.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to send files in requests and handle that in your Vapor application. You’ll use this knowledge to allow users to upload profile pictures in the web application.
In this chapter, you’ll make two modifications to the TILApp using migrations. First, you’ll add a new field to User to contain a Twitter handle. Second, you’ll ensure that categories are unique. Finally, you’ll modify the app so it creates the admin user only when your app runs in development or testing mode.
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Whether you’re creating a JSON API, building an iOS app, or even designing the circuitry of a CPU, you’ll eventually need a cache. Caches are a method of speeding up slow processes and, without them, the Internet would be a terribly slow place. Some examples of slow processes you may encounter are: large database queries, requests to external services or complex computation such as parsing a large document.
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In the course of building your application, you’ll often find it necessary to integrate your own steps into the request pipeline. The most common mechanism for accomplishing this is to use one or more pieces of middleware. They allow you to do things like log incoming requests, catch errors and display messages or rate-limit traffic to particular routes.
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WebSockets, like HTTP, define a protocol used for communication between two devices. Unlike HTTP, the WebSocket protocol is designed for realtime communication. WebSockets can be a great option for things like chat, or other features that require realtime behavior. Vapor provides a succinct API to create a WebSocket server or client. This chapter focuses on building a basic server.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn about some of Fluent’s more advanced features. You’ll see how to save models with enums and use Fluent’s soft delete and timestamp features. You’ll also learn how to use raw SQL and joins, as well as seeing how to return nested models.

Section V: Production & External Deployment

This section shows you how to deploy your Vapor application to external Cloud-based providers to offload the job of hosting your application. You’ll learn how to upload to Heroku, a popular platform for deploying applications as well as deploying to AWS or Docker.

The chapters in this section deal with hosting and production concerns when deploying your Vapor application.

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Heroku is a popular hosting solution that simplifies deployment of web and cloud applications. It supports a number of popular languages and database options. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to deploy a Vapor web app with a PostgreSQL database on Heroku.
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Docker is a popular containerization technology that has made a huge impact in the way applications are deployed. Containers are a way of isolating your applications, allowing you to run multiple applications on the same server. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to deploy a Vapor app with a PostgreSQL database using Docker Compose.
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Amazon Web Services (AWS) is by far the largest Cloud provider today. It provides a number of service offerings which simplify the deployment and maintenance of applications. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to use a few of these to deploy a Vapor app.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn the advantages and disadvantages of some common deployment methods for Vapor. You’ll also learn how to properly optimize, configure, and monitor your applications to increase efficiency and uptime.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to leverage microservices to split up your code into different applications. You’ll learn the benefits and the downsides of microservices and how to interact with them. Finally, you’ll learn how authentication and relationships work in a microservices architecture.
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In this chapter, you’ll learn about API gateways and how to make microservices accessible to clients. Finally, you’ll learn how to use Docker and Docker Compose to spin up the whole application.