I have some basic knowledge of iOS development and I want to now start connecting my apps to databases hosted on the internet, so that users will have access to remote / public data that pertains to my app.

My problem is that after searching the internet for some advice, I realised I don't even know what this type of programming is called? From my perusing it doesn't even appear to have a common moniker, and this is making it really difficult for me to find any advice on how to even begin learning to connect my apps to a web database.

So my questions are, what on earth is this discipline called? And, how can I get started in learning it?


3 Answers 3


There are several options.

A current popular one is your server having a REST API that gives back JSON data.

Then in your app, you can make URL requests that will give back the JSON data (XML is another option). Parse the data and use as needed.

It is not nearly as simple as it sounds to set up the first time, but the key points are:
1) You will need to create a REST API
2) You will need to parse the data in the iphone app

  • I'd vote you up, but I can't, thanks for the advice :)
    – Jarrod
    May 2, 2012 at 0:19
  • no problem, Welcome to programmers May 2, 2012 at 0:28
  • resurrecting this thread because I would like to research the design of this sort of setup on the client side - my main question is, from within the iOS app, what are some strategies for modularity/separation of responsibility? I just need a place to start my research. Much like the OP of this question, I don't know enough terminology to even begin searching for this information. Jan 18, 2016 at 18:24

Today the most common web services types are SOAP and REST. There are some iOS application that use .Net Web Services and you can create your own as per your requirement. You can use either Json or xml for getting data from database through webservice.

RestKit is a generalized framework for consuming JSON/XML over HTTP. It will interoperate with any backend, providing the payload can be expressed as key-value coding key paths.

Developing RESTful iOS Apps with RestKit
Database seeding. When the Core Data object store is used, you can seed a database from a collection of data files.

REST Web Service for ResKit
Rest API Web Service - iOS

Backing Your iOS App With WCF JSON Web Services

  • Great info, gives me much more to read/learn about :) Thanks!
    – Jarrod
    May 2, 2012 at 6:48
  • @jarrod I upvoted Niranjan for you. I know you cannot upvote, but I believe you can accept answers at this rep when you are ready. May 2, 2012 at 23:44

I use SudzC webservice generator every time, it will generate a complete set of required files and it takes you less then 5 min to get started. Dont forget to watch the video tutorial, it will explain all you need to do.


Hope this help !!

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