Quick Start Guide for iOS APS SDK

Pro or Enterprise Subscription Required


This AMPLIFY Appcelerator Services feature requires a Pro or Enterprise Subscription. 


This guide walks through the setup of the AMPLIFY Appcelerator Services for iOS applications.  The AMPLIFY Appcelerator Services SDK gives you access to the Appcelerator Analytics, Cloud and Performance services.  To enable Appcelerator Test for a project, run the appceletator-test utility against either the project or IPA file.

Not developing a native iOS application with Objective-C?

See the following topics to use the AMPLIFY Appcelerator Services on other platforms:

For native Android applications built with Java, see Quick Start Guide for Android APS SDK.

For native iOS applications built with Swift, see Quick Start Guide for iOS APS SDK using Swift.

For Titanium Applications, see Quick Start.


You should be familiar with developing native iOS applications using Xcode and Objective-C.  The SDKs supports the following base SDK and target iOS versions:

Maximum SDK version Minimum SDK version Maximum target iOS version Maximum target iOS version
9.0.x 8.0.x 9.0.x 7.1.x


Before you can use Appcelerator Services in your application you need to:

  • Create an application in Dashboard
  • Download the SDK and appcelerator-test utility
  • Get the application keys

 To register an Android Java, or iOS Objective-C or Swift application in Dashboard:

  1. Log in to Dashboard.
  2. Click the Add menu (+) and select Register App for Services to open the Register App for Services form.
  3. In the Register App for Services form, enter the application Name, and select a Platform and Category. Optionally, you can provide a description of your application. To add application team members from the organization, click the add (+) button in the App Team list at the right.
  4. Click OK.

Dashboard displays the Platform Services tab for your application. In the tab, you can download the APS SDK and appcelerator-test utility, and get code snippets to copy and paste into your application.

For more information, refer to Managing Non-Titanium Client Applications in Dashboard.

Quick Tutorial

The following tutorial demonstrates basic setup and usage of Analytics, Cloud, and Performance libraries in an Xcode project. To complete the tutorial you will need your APS application key for the Cloud, Analytics, and Performance services.  Download a complete version of the project.

To create a basic application using APS:

  1. In Xcode, create a new iOS Project (Single View Application).
  2. Unzip appcelerator-sdk-ios-<VERSION>.zip file and drag the Appcelerator.framework folder into the root project folder if you are using Xcode 6 and above, or the Frameworks folder if you are using Xcode 5 or below. 
  3. Select Copy items into destination… and click Finish.
  4. Select your project in the Project Navigator and click the Build Phases tab.
  5. Expand the Link Binary With Libraries section and add the libsqlite3.tbd and libz.tbd frameworks. Prior to Xcode 7, the framework extension is dylib rather than tbd.
  6. Click the Build Settings tab, then click the All button in the top-left corner of the tab.
  7. If you are using Xcode 7, you will need to disable bitcode since some third-party libraries do not have bitcode enabled. Expand the Build Options section and set Enable Bitcode to No.
  8. Expand the Linking section and add -ObjC  to Other Linker Flags .
  9. In your application delegate implementation file, import Appcelerator/Appcelerator.h.

    #import <Appcelerator/Appcelerator.h>
  10. Add the following initialization code to your application delegate's application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions method, replacing the placeholder string with your APS application key:

    [[APSServiceManager sharedInstance] enableWithAppKey:@"APS_APP_KEY"];

    The iOS application is now ready to make method calls using the APS SDK APIs.


If the application attempts to make APS SDK API calls without first setting the application key, the application will throw an exception and crash.

Modify the Application

Customize the application's UI to display a picker, text field and button, and add some logic to respond to user interaction.  The picker will display a list of available user accounts.  The user can enter their password in the text field, then click the button to log in.

  1. Open your project's Main.storyboard file.
  2. Drag a Picker View, Text Field and Button from the Object library to the view.
  3. Open the Assistant Editor. (From the menu, select View > Assistant Editor Show Assistant Editor or click the Assistant Editor button in the top-right corner.)
  4. In the right pane, display the ViewController.h file.
  5. Control-drag the Picker View to View Controller icon at the bottom of the storyboard.  Select dataSource.  Repeat for the delegate option.
  6. Drag the Picker View to the header file to create an IBOutlet.  Name the outlet picker and click Connect.  Repeat the same procedure for the Text Field and name it textField.
  7. In the ViewController.h file, declare the View Controller to implement the UIPickerViewDelegateUIPickerViewDataSource, and UITextFieldDelegate protocols.  Add an NSArray property called usernames to keep track of the Picker View's data source and an NSString property called username to reference the current selection.  The final header file should look like: 

    #import <UIKit/UIKit.h>
    #import <CoreLocation/CoreLocation.h>
    @interface ViewController : UIViewController <UIPickerViewDelegate, UIPickerViewDataSource, UITextFieldDelegate>
    @property (weak, nonatomic) IBOutlet UIPickerView *picker;
    @property (weak, nonatomic) IBOutlet UITextField *textField;
    @property (strong, nonatomic) NSArray *usernames;
    @property (strong, nonatomic) NSString *username;
  8. In the ViewController.m file, create an IBAction for the button named doClick.  In the following sections, you will add code to this handler that calls Cloud, Analytics and Performance services.  The View Controller needs to implement the methods of UIPickerViewDelegateUIPickerViewDataSource and UITextFieldDelegate protocols.  Add the following code to the file:

    #import "ViewController.h"
    // Add this import statement
    #import <Appcelerator/Appcelerator.h>
    @implementation ViewController
    - (void)viewDidLoad
        [super viewDidLoad];
        // Add these statements to dismiss the keyboard 
        self.textField.delegate = self;
        [self.textField resignFirstResponder]; 
    - (void)didReceiveMemoryWarning
        [super didReceiveMemoryWarning];
    // Add these methods
    - (IBAction)onClick:(id)sender {
    #pragma mark Picker DataSource/Delegate
    - (NSInteger)numberOfComponentsInPickerView:(UIPickerView *)pickerView {
        return 1;
    - (NSInteger)pickerView:(UIPickerView *)pickerView numberOfRowsInComponent:(NSInteger)component {
        return _usernames.count;
    - (NSString *)pickerView:(UIPickerView *)pickerView titleForRow:(NSInteger)row forComponent:(NSInteger)component {
        return [_usernames[row] objectForKey:@"username"];
    - (void)pickerView:(UIPickerView *)pickerView didSelectRow:(NSInteger)row inComponent:(NSInteger)component {
        _username = [_usernames[row] objectForKey:@"username"];
    #pragma mark TextField Delegate
    - (BOOL)textFieldShouldBeginEditing:(UITextField *)textField
        return YES;
    - (BOOL)textFieldShouldReturn:(UITextField *)textField
        [textField resignFirstResponder];
        return YES;
  9. Control-drag the Button to the onClick:sender method to create an action connection.

Send an Analytics Feature Event

The Analytics library automatically captures and sends application life-cycle events to the backend Analytics service. You can also send custom analytics events, as shown in this example. There are two types of custom events: feature events and navigation events.

In the  doClick method, add a  sendAppFeatureEvent:  method call to send a feature event with the string "sample.feature.login". The optional payload parameter is set to nil for this example, but it lets you send additional data along with the event.

- (IBAction)doClick:(id)sender {
	// Call Analytics method
	[[APSAnalytics sharedInstance] sendAppFeatureEvent:@"sample.feature.login" payload:nil];

Query Cloud Users

To use the APS Cloud component, most of the methods require a user to be logged in.  This sample uses the Picker View to select a Cloud user account.  To populate the Picker View values, the application needs to retrieve a list of users. Call the  query:withBlock:  method to retrieve a list of user accounts from inside the viewDidLoad method.

Every APS Cloud method includes a withBlock parameter that specifies the callback to handle the server response. The callback is passed an APSResponse object that contains response metadata (such as success or failure) and the response payload.

- (void)viewDidLoad
    [super viewDidLoad];
    // Call the APSUsers query method
    [APSUsers query:nil withBlock:^(APSResponse *e){
        if (e.success) {
            _usernames = [e.response objectForKey:@"users"];
            [self.picker reloadAllComponents];
        } else {
            UIAlertView *alert = [[UIAlertView alloc] initWithTitle:@"Error"
                                                            message:@"Unable to retrieve user accounts!"
                                                  otherButtonTitles: nil];
            [alert show];

Login to a Cloud Account

To login to a Cloud account, you need the username and password.  Since the application was modified to get all available user accounts and populate the Picker View, the application needs to get the current value of the picker and the text entered in the Text Field.  These values are passed to the  login:withBlock:  method.  Modify the doClick method to login to a Cloud user account.

- (IBAction)doClick:(id)sender {
	[[APSAnalytics sharedInstance] sendAppFeatureEvent:@"sample.feature.login" payload:nil];

    // Construct the request parameters
    NSDictionary *params = [[NSDictionary alloc]
                                 [_textField text],@"password",
    // Call the APSUsers login method
    [APSUsers login:params withBlock:^(APSResponse *e){
        if (e.success) {
            NSLog(@"Successfully logged in as %@", _username);

        } else {
            NSLog(@"ERROR: Failed to log in!");

Log a Handled Exception

The Performance library automatically logs application crashes (unhandled exceptions) and handled exceptions to the backend Performance service. You can also leave breadcrumbs in your application, which are developer-defined text strings (up to 140 characters) that are analogous to log messages.

For example, you can replace the Log calls in the catch statements with logHandledException calls.  Instead, the application will generate a runtime exception, and then call the  logHandledException  method to log that exception to the Performance backend. To the  doClick  method, add the following new code: 

- (IBAction)doClick:(id)sender {

    // Analytics call...
    // Cloud call...
    @try {
        [NSException raise:NSGenericException format:@"Something happened..."];
    } @catch (NSException *exception) {
        [[APSPerformance sharedInstance] logHandledException:exception];

Set a Username for Crash Logs

To help differentiate crash logs, use the username  property.  When the application successfully logs in to the Cloud user account, the application sets the username property.

- (IBAction)doClick:(id)sender {

    [APSUsers login:params withBlock:^(APSResponse *e){
        if (e.success) {
            NSLog(@"Successfully logged in as %@", _username);
            // Add this APS Performance method call
            [[APSPerformance sharedInstance] username] = _username;
        } else {
            NSLog(@"ERROR: Failed to log in!");


Testing the tutorial sample

Before testing the sample, you need to create user accounts for the application to query. To create Cloud user accounts:

  1. Log in to Appcelerator Dashboard.
  2. In Dashboard, select your application from the APIs menu in the upper-left corner.
  3. In the left navigation bar, click Manage Data.
  4. Click Users, then the Create User button.
  5. In the Username field enter the user's username.
  6. In the Password field enter the new user's password (four-character minimum).
  7. Click Save Changes.

To create a Cloud user account, you only need a username or e-mail address, and a password.

For more information about managing Cloud user accounts, see Managing Organizations.

After you have created a few Cloud user accounts, build the sample and launch it on either a device or emulator.

Once the application launches:

  1. Click on the Picker/Spinner. You should see a list of all the Cloud user accounts you added.
  2. Select a user account from the Picker/Spinner and enter that user's password. Click the Button. In the log output, you should see an info log that login command was successful or not.
  3. Go back to the Appcelerator Dashboard.
  4. In Dashboard, select your application from the Apps menu in the upper-left corner.
  5. In the left navbar, click Performance, then Handled Exceptions. You should see the "Something happened..." exception in the list.
  6. In the left navbar, click Search by User.  Enter the username of the account that successfully logged in. Click the username. You should see a crash report for the user. 
  7. In the left navbar, select Analytics.
  8. In the Real Time view, you should see at least one active session.
  9. In the left navbar, click Events. You should see the "sample.feature.login" feature event.

Next Steps for Appcelerator Analytics, Cloud and Performance

This tutorial only covers a small portion of what the Analytics, Cloud and Performance services can provide.  For more in-depth information about these features, see the following topics:

Setting up Appcelerator Test

To setup your application to use Appcelerator Test, download and run the appcelerator-test Utility.

  1. Download the appcelerator-test Utility and copy your Appcelerator Test application key from the Appcelerator Dashboard.  (For instructions, see Managing Non-Titanium Client Applications in Dashboard.)
  2. Unpack the file to a common location.  You will need to use this utility to enable Appcelerator Test for each of your applications.

You can run the appcelerator-test utility either against the project or an IPA file.


To run the appcelerator-test utility against an IPA file, first export your project as an IPA file, then run the following command, and install the IPA file to a device:

java -jar appcelerator-test.jar -ipa <IPA_FILE> -provisioningprofile <DISTRIBUTION_PROVISIONING_PROFILE> -signingidentity <SIGNING_IDENTITY_NAME> -dashboardurl <CLOUDTEST_URL> -appkey <APP_GUID> -username <APPC_PLATFORM_USERNAME> -password <APPC_PLATFORM_PASSWORD>
### Example
java -jar appcelerator-test.jar -ipa ~/Documents/Xcode_Workspace/SampleProject.ipa -provisioningprofile ~/Downloads/BluthCo.mobileprovision -signingidentity "iPhone Distribution: Joe User (XX1111XXXX)" -appkey "11111111-2222-3333-4444-555555555555" -dashboardurl https://platform.appcelerator.com -username user@appcelerator.com -password secret

### Successful Response
Mobile App Object "SampleProject_11111111-2222-3333-4444-555555555555" representing your Application "SampleProject" has been created in CloudTest Repository.

To run the appcelerator-test utility against a project, run the following command, then build the project with the -TouchTest suffix and install the application to a device or simulator:

java -jar appcelerator-test.jar -project <PATH_TO_PROJECT> -target <XCODE_TARGET> -dashboardurl <CLOUDTEST_URL> -appkey <APP_GUID> -username <APPC_PLATFORM_USERNAME> -password <APPC_PLATFORM_PASSWORD> -useforceloadlinkerflag -removelibraryfrombuildphase
### Example
java -jar appcelerator-test.jar -project ~/Documents/Xcode_Workspace/SampleProject/SampleProject.xcodeproj/ -target SampleProject -dashboardurl https://platform.appcelerator.com -username user@appcelerator.com -appkey "11111111-2222-3333-4444-555555555555" -password secret -useforceloadlinkerflag -removelibraryfrombuildphase
### Successful Response
Mobile App Object "SampleProject_11111111-2222-3333-4444-555555555555" representing your Application "SampleProject" has been created in CloudTest Repository.


Install the TouchTest Agent

To run tests on a device you need to install the TouchTest Agent a light-weight software agent that controls the device during test recording and playback. Once installed you also need to register your device with the Test service, and have the device approved by an administrator (see Approving devices and simulators).

On iOS, the TouchTest Agent runs as a web application in mobile Safari. The steps for installing TouchTest Agent on an iOS device and simulator are slightly different. Also, installing TouchTest Agent on a simulator running iOS 6 or earlier requires providing the Mac system's hardware UUID.

To install on an iOS device:

  1. Point the device's Safari browser at the TouchTest Agent URL ( http://appctest-2.appcelerator.com/concerto/touchtest ).
  2. Enter your AMPLIFY Appcelerator Services credentials and login.
  3. Click Register Device. The Install Profile dialog opens asking you to install the TouchTest Device Registration profile.
  4. Click Install in the Install Profile dialog, then click Install Now in the confirmation dialog. (You may also be prompted for a passcode by the device, if that security feature is enabled.)
  5. Enter a name for your device and click Submit for Approval.

  6. Once the device has been approved, the TouchTest Agent displays the current connection status to the Test web service, TouchTest URL, user name, and TouchTest Agent build number.

To install on a iOS simulator:

  1. Point the simulator's web browser at the TouchTest Agent URL ( http://appctest-2.appcelerator.com/concerto/touchtest ).
  2. Click Tap here if this is a simulator.
  3. Enter your AMPLIFY Appcelerator Services credentials and login.
  4. Click Register  Simulator.
  5. For simulators running iOS 6 or earlier, provide your computer's hardware UUID.
  6. Provide a name for your device and click Submit for Approval. (The name must be unique among other registered devices in your organization.)
  7. Once the device has been approved, the TouchTest Agent displays the current connection status to the Test web service, TouchTest URL, user name, and TouchTest Agent build number.

Record a Test Clip

clip is the basic building block of a test. You create clips in the Clip Editor. Clips are composed of App Actions – taps, gestures, text inputs, and so forth – that simulate actions a user take in an application. When you record a test clip, the actions you take on a device are automatically added as App Actions in the test clip.

For example, the following screenshot shows a test clip containing four recorded actions: a tap operation, followed a type operation, followed by two more tap operations.


Typically a recorded test clip is a starting point for you to refine, add validations, inputs, outputs and so forth.

To record a test clip:

  1. Open Appcelerator Dashboard and click the Test tab.
  2. Select the application to test from the Application menu in the upper-left corner.

  3. With your application selected, on the Central tab select Clips in the left navigation, then click the New button. The Clip Editor opens a new untitled clip.
  4. In the Clip Editor, click the Record menu and select Record Mobile App
  5. In the Choose a Device Agent and Mobile App dialog select the test device from the upper pane, and the application to test, and click Record.

  6. The test application launches on the device. Perform the following actions on the device:
    1. Click the Picker.
    2. Select a user account.
    3. Click the Text Field widget.
    4. Enter the user's password.
    5. Click return to dismiss the keyboard.
    6. Click the Button.  You should see the following output in the test clip:
  7. Click the Record button in the Test tab in Dashboard again to stop recording.
  8. Click Save or Save As  in the toolbar, give the clip a name or accept the default, and click Save.

To playback a test clip that you've recorded, it needs to be added to a test composition.  For simplicity, you can playback the clip immediately by clicking the  Play  button and select  Play in Compostion  in the test clip.

The clip is added to a draft composition and starts playing.  Once the playback completes, results display in the test composition.

Next Steps for Appcelerator Test

This tutorial only covers the very basics of using the Appcelerator Test service.  For more in-depth information, see Appcelerator Test.  For more information about the appcelerator-test utility, see Appcelerator Test CLI Reference.

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