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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

iOS How to Purge a Set of Core Data Entities

So, you want to remove all of one type of Core Data entity from your datastore/database, eh?

Sometimes you just want to clear out all your data, whether because the user is explicitly asking for it to be deleted, or as part of a simple wiping process during a server fetch (fetching to store locally) when you're dealing with small amounts of data. If you find yourself needed to delete all of your entities from a table in Core Data, it may surprise you how you have to go about it.

Here's an example:

+(void)deleteAllEventsInManagedObjectContext:(NSManagedObjectContext *)context
  // Create a NSFetchRequest to fetch Event entity objects
  NSFetchRequest *request = [NSFetchRequest fetchRequestWithEntityName:@"Event"];
  // Apply no filters, fetch them all
  request.predicate = [NSPredicate predicateWithFormat:@"1==1"];
  request.sortDescriptors = [NSArray arrayWithObject:nil];
  NSError *error = nil;
  NSArray *records = [context executeFetchRequest:request error:&error];
  // Write any errors to the console
    NSLog(@"%@", error);
  // Iterate over the results, and delete them
  for(NSManagedObject *record in records)
    // Delete by way of the NSManagedObjectContext it belongs to
    [context deleteObject:record];

What surprised me the most was that it was necessary to fetch all the entities and then iterate over them deleting one by one. As far as I know, there continues to be no mass-destroy method in the SDK. On the plus side, this means you're forced to handle errors on a per-delete-basis that may arise from entity relationships-gone-bad, and I imagine that this is a good thing when your data model is more complex.

If you know of a better way, please leave it in the comments. And as always, please give us a +1 if you found this helpful to you.

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Easy NSDateFormatter Tool

Save yourself some time in formatting your NSDates to NSStrings, and use the Blind NSDate app, which you can download from iTunes. There's also a website where you can format your NSDates:

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