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Change the Generated UI to Make the App Your Own

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Change the Generated UI to Make the App Your Own
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Change the Generated UI to Make the App Your Own


Use Xcode to change the generated UI and add your own views to the app.

You will learn

  • How to change the Assistant generated UI with your own using Xcode and storyboards

Step 1: Replace generated UI with your own

The SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS Assistant does a great job generating the initial UI for a given data service. While this feature is awesome for reviewing data service entities and impressing your boss or customer with just how fast you can get something built, when it really comes to delivering an app with your unique business functionality, you need to understand how to incorporate your own UI.

Let’s start by opening up the generated project in Xcode and clicking on the file name Main.storyboard in the project navigator. Theoretically you could build all your UI in Swift but storyboards provides you an easy way to visually create each view, define the UI flow, and configure the views to support all size classes.

Replace UI

Select all the View Controllers in the Main.storyboard file by clicking inside the file content then typing Command + a.

Replace UI

Now delete them by hitting the delete key on your keyboard.

Click on the Object Library button in the upper-right of the Xcode toolbar to present a list of objects you can place in your storyboard.

Filter the list by typing UIViewController, then drag and drop the View Controller object onto your storyboard.

Replace UI

We will add additional view controllers in later steps so we’ll embed the added View Controller in a Navigation Controller to allow it to handle the the navigation between them.

Select the View Controller then select Embed In > Navigation Controller from the Editor menu.

Replace UI

The last step here is to set the newly created Navigation Controller as the view controller that should be loaded when this storyboard is initialized.

Select the Navigation Controller and in the Attributes Inspector on the right, check the box next to Is Initial View Controller.

An arrow should appear left to the Navigation Controller indicating it is defined to be loaded first.

Replace UI
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Step 2: Create Swift class backing up the storyboard View Controller

Your storyboard configuration is almost done now. Any View Controller or Table View Controller added to a storyboard that you’d like to contain custom behavior needs to be backed by a Swift class in which you’ll implement your customizations.

To create a Swift class for your custom View Controller, select the SalesAssistant folder in Xcode’s project navigator on the left side and right-click or hold the control key and click the folder to present the context menu, then select New File….

Create Class

When the file template chooser dialog is presented, select Cocoa Touch Class and click Next.

Create Class

In the file options dialog, enter these values for the following fields:

Field Value
Class OverviewViewController
Subclass of UIViewController
Language Swift

Click Next.

Accept the defaults in the next dialog and click Create.

Create Class

Your newly created Swift class will be added to the project and should automatically be displayed.

However, before we get into coding, you’ll want to link this new Swift class to your view controller in the storyboard file named Main.storyboard.

Select Main.storyboard in the project navigator and select the View Controller you created earlier.

Select the Identity Inspector in the the panel on the right-hand side and enter OverviewViewController as the value for the class field under Custom Class and hit return.

Now this View Controller in the storyboard file is backed by your custom Swift class.

Create Class
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Step 3: Change code in application UI manager class

When the Assistant generated our app, it configured the ApplicationUIManager class to present the Master / Detail view controller. Since we now want the Navigation View Controller that manages our new OverviewViewController to be the initial view controller, we’ll need to make some changes to the ApplicationUIManager Swift class.

Open the Onboarding folder in the project navigator on the left-hand side and select the file titled ApplicationUIManager.swift.

Locate the showApplicationScreen(completionHandler:) method, which method contains the code initializing the initial View Controller. In order to quickly find that method you can select the showApplicationScreen using the quick navigation feature in the bread-crumb path at the top of the file editor.

Change Code

The Xcode editor should then jump to the selected method.

Change Code

In the showApplicationScreen method, replace the following code in the else block:

let appDelegate = (UIApplication.shared.delegate as! AppDelegate) let splitViewController = UIStoryboard(name: "Main", bundle: Bundle.main).instantiateViewController(withIdentifier: "MainSplitViewController") as! UISplitViewController splitViewController.delegate = appDelegate splitViewController.modalPresentationStyle = .currentContext splitViewController.preferredDisplayMode = .allVisible appViewController = splitViewController


let mainNavigationController = UIStoryboard(name: "Main", bundle: Bundle.main).instantiateInitialViewController() as! UINavigationController appViewController = mainNavigationController

This code will load the Main.storyboard and initializes the initial View Controller which in our case is a UINavigationController.

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Step 4: Run your app in simulator

Now that have done all that’s needed to replace the Assistant generated UI with your own, let’s see how the app looks by running it in the iOS Simulator.

Click on the run button in Xcode to compile and run your app.

Because you have run through the on-boarding flow already and enrolled in FaceID or TouchID the new View Controller should show up.

Run App
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Step 5: Add Table View to View Controller

The Overview View Controller is going to be used in this tutorial series to display a list of customers and products in a Table View.

Select the file Main.storyboard in the project navigator on the left.

Click on the Object Library button and filter the list by typing Table View then select,
drag, and drop the Table View into the center of your OverviewViewController.

Add Table View

Next, we need to set layout constraints on the Table View in order to ensure that it will layout properly when presented at any size.

Select the Table View and click the Add New Constraints icon on the lower-right.

In the fields for Spacing to nearest neighbor, set the values to 0.

Uncheck the Constrain to margins checkbox and click Add 4 Constraints.

Add Table View

This will add auto layout constraints to the Table View.

Add Table View
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Step 6: Create outlet from storyboard to class

We’ll want to programmatically access this Table View in subsequent steps of this tutorial. To access the Table View from our Swift class, we’ll use an IBOutlet to create a connection between our code connection and the visual Table View in the storyboard.

Select the Overview View Controller in the Main.storyboard file.

Click the Assistant editor button in top-right of the Xcode toolbar to open the OverviewViewController.swift file alongside the storyboard.

Add Table View

Click on the Table View in the View Hierarchy or directly in the storyboard and Control + Drag from the Table View to just below the class definition in code window.

Make sure the Connection option is set to Outlet at the top of the dialog.

Enter tableView as the value for the outlet Name and click Connect.

Add Table View

The result is a code connection from the Table View to your Swift class.

Add Table View

Before going to the next step, close the OverviewViewController.swift code view by clicking on the X in the upper-right of the code view on the right.

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Step 7: Make Overview View Controller delegate and data source for Table View

Since our OverviewViewController class is a subclass of a UIViewController, we’ll need to manually set our class as the value for UITableViewDelegate and UITableViewDataSource.

To conform to those two protocols you can use Swift extensions to extend your Swift class and implement the needed override methods in the class extension. In that case the extension will be used to make your code more readable.

Open up the OverviewViewController.swift class and add the following lines of code outside the closing bracket of the class:

extension OverviewViewController: UITableViewDelegate, UITableViewDataSource { func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, numberOfRowsInSection section: Int) -> Int { return 0 } func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, cellForRowAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> UITableViewCell { return UITableViewCell() } }

The tableView(_:numberOfRowsInSection:) method is responsible for telling the Table View how many rows should be displayed in a section. Right now, return 0 to stop the compiler from complaining. For the tableView(_:cellForRowAt:) return a new Table View Cell – this cell is not going to be the cell we’re going to use but we want to stop the compile time errors for now.

Both of these methods are required by the UITableViewDataSource.

You have to set the data source and delegate of the table view. Add the following lines of code to the viewDidLoad(:) method of the OverviewViewController.swift class:

tableView.delegate = self tableView.dataSource = self

The viewDidLoad(:) method should look like this:

override func viewDidLoad() { super.viewDidLoad() tableView.delegate = self tableView.dataSource = self }
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Step 8: Run app to see result of your work

Seeing the results of your work is the most satisfying part, so you should run your app in the iOS Simulator to ensure that everything is configured properly and have some satisfaction.

Your UI should look like this now:

Add Table View
Can you set a UIViewController as table view data source and delegate in code?
Please select the correct answer.

Next Steps


  • Development environment: Apple Mac running macOS Mojave or higher with Xcode 11 or higher
  • SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS: Version 4.0 SP00
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