Using Couchbase Lite from RubyMotion

CouchbaseLite has been released for sometime now, so I thought it is time to
give an update for using CouchbaseLite from RubyMotion.

When I ported ToDoLite-iOS to
RubyMotion originally there where some bumps in the road, but it worked over
all. There were for example some problems with RubyMotion not handling lambdas
the way CouchbaseLite needs them, but this has been resolved since then. If you
don’t know what I mean by that, you can be happy and forget all about it, or
read up on

So what do I need now to get going with CouchbaseLite and iOS?

By now it is possible to go 100% ruby for a RubyMotion project using
CouchbaseLite, which is great. CouchbaseLite has been publicly released, is out
of beta and has already received much love in terms of patches to make it work
even more reliably cross all platforms. In case of RubyMotion this made things
much easier, and the process is by now:

  • Add couchbase-lite via cocoapods
  • Tell rubymotion where to find the header files
  • Use it!

Installing CouchbaseLite via Cocoapods

Cocoapods is an awesome package manager for iOS and
MacOS projects, and it integrates really well with RubyMotion. All there is todo
is add cocoapods and motion-cocoapods to your gemfile

Now you can install any cocoapods by adding them to the Rakefile and running
“bundle exec rake pod:install”

Important side not, make sure to include

as the headers are not going to be found otherwise.

Using Couchbase Lite from RubyMotion

You can now use CouchbaseLite like you would any other Obj-C library from
rubymotion, for example to define a view which grabs all the “lists” in the
database you can write this

For more details checkout the RubyMotion Sample project on

Using CouchbaseLite from RubyMotion

Recently Couchbase Lite 1.0 got released, and you can find anything about it at
the Couchbase Mobile Developer Portal.
As I’ve been quite interested in RubyMotion since some time, I decided to check
how easy it would be to take CouchbaseLite for a spin on RubyMotion, and I have
to say it is quite easy. Besides some small problems with RubyMotion handling
of blocks everything worked as expected. The full project is up on
for you to checkout,
but I’d like to walk through some of the parts worth noting here.

Getting the database ready

First things first, opening a database file for CouchbaseLite works as expected
simply porting over what is presented in the examples.

This database object can now be passed down to wherever it is needed. So now is
the time to get onto one of the big features of CouchbaseLite, which is sync. To
get this working we authenticate against Facebook using ACAccountStore

and feed the credentials back to CouchbaseLite to authenticate any replications,
which are setup.

And with those little pieces of code we actually have a working sync setup.

Data in…

A syncing database is nice, but without data in it also kind of useless ;), so
let’s get something in there. CouchbaseLite actually provides a nice layer on
top here, letting you define models for your data which you can then read and
write like you would with any ORM. And it’s more than that, you can actually use
those as well to directly bind to a view, but more about that later. First let’s
get some data in there, by first creating a model to represent this.

So all there is left to do is creating a new object of this kind and save it.

And that’s it, we can now store items in our database fairly simple.

… and data out

With this we can take advantage of one of the other big features of
CouchbasLite, at least to me, which is using CouchbaseLite as an
TableViewDataSource. This cuts out huge amounts of boilerplate code, so

will get everything setup, and make sure that the display is always up to date.

One more (sad) thing…

Sadly right now, due to a bug in the handling of Procs in RubyMotion, it does
not allow you to setup map and reduce blocks via Ruby. This will probably be
resolved by Rubymotion soon, but for now it means you have to setup the blocks
from Objective-C. But don’t worry it’s not hard, basically it’s just the code
for the block itself which is pretty easy to grasp.

In TodoLite-Motion I set it
up to be a vendored Xcode project, so it can easily be compiled and changed when

The end

And that’s it, a basic project up and running with everything needed to have a
synced and shared database in RubyMotion.