Query is a fluent-style query builder for Core Data.


Installation is done through Swift Package Manager. Paste the URL of this repo into Xcode or add this line to your Package.swift:

.package(url: "https://github.com/lightyear/Query", from: "1.0.0")


Querying Core Data managed object contexts involves a lot of boilerplate code. This package provides a new Query<T> type that is a fluent-style, chainable query builder:

class Entity: NSManagedObject { ... }

try Entity.query(in: someManagedObjectContext)
    .where("quantity == 1")
    .order(by: "date")
// result is [Entity] or a thrown error

If your managed object subclasses also conform to the Queryable protocol and supply a nested Attribute type, additional overrides for .where() and .order() are available that accept attributes that can be checked by the compiler, instead of strings:

extension Entity: Queryable {
    enum Attribute {
        case quantity, date

try Entity.query(in: someManagedObjectContext)
    .where([.quantity: 1])
    .order(by: .date)
// result is [Entity] or a thrown error

(SR-5220 Expose API to retrieve string representation of KeyPath is a much better way to support something like this. If we ever get it, Queryable will be deprecated.)


The basic filtering predicate is .where(). It accepts the same arguments as NSPredicate or, if the managed object subclass conforms to Queryable, an additional version that takes a Dictionary keyed by attributes:

where("quantity == 1")
where("quantity == %d", 1)
where("name == %@", "Alice")
where("%K == %@", "name", "Alice")
where([.quantity: 1])
where([.name: "Alice"])

Chained calls to .where() combine with AND:

where("quantity == 1").where("name == %@", "Alice")
// same as where("quantity == 1 AND name == %@", "Alice")

There is also .or():

where("quantity == 1").or("name == %@", "Alice")
// same as where("quantity == 1 OR name == %@", "Alice")

When combined with .where(), .or() treats everything before it as if it were wrapped in a set of parentheses.

where("quantity == 1").where("name == %@", "Alice").or("name == %@", "Bob")
// same as where("(quantity == 1 AND name == %@) OR name == %@", "Alice", "Bob")

The dictionary forms of .where() and .or() support inequality wrappers around values and ranges:

where([.quantity: lt(1)])  // same as where("quantity < 1")
where([.quantity: 1...3])  // same as where("quantity BETWEEN (1,3)")


Adding one or more sort descriptors is done with order():

order(by: "department").order(by: "name")

The default sort order is ascending, but descending is an option:

order(by: "quantity", .descending)

String values can also be sorted case-insensitively or using a localized comparison:

order(by: "name", .ascending, .localizedCaseInsensitive)
order(by: "name", .ascending, .localizedStandard)

Fetching result objects or counts

All of the matching results in the requested order (if specified) are fetched by calling .all(). If you only want the first matching result, use .first(). If you only care about the number of matching objects, use .count().

If your managed object subclass conforms to Queryable, you use the typed Attribute version of .where() without inequalities or .or() conditions, .firstOrInsert() will fetch the first match or insert a new instance into the context with its properties set to the query conditions. It throws QueryError.tooComplex in cases where the initial values are indeterminant.

Getting the underlying fetch request

If you need a real NSFetchRequest matching the current query, you can get it from the fetchRequest property. This is useful for further customizing the fetch request or handing it to an NSFetchedResultsController.

Identifiable managed objects

Managed object subclasses that also conform to Identifiable gain a few additional query functions. exists(_:) returns true if an object exists in the context with the provided ID.

fetch(_:) returns the instance with the provided ID or nil if no object exists in the context with that ID.

fetchOrInsert(_:) returns the instance with the provided ID or, if no object exists with it already, a new instance with the id property set to that ID.


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