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DTTableViewManager 6

This is a sister-project for DTCollectionViewManager - great tool for UICollectionView management, built on the same principles.

Powerful generic-based UITableView management framework, written in Swift.


  • [x] Powerful mapping system between data models and cells, headers and footers
  • [x] Support for all Swift types - classes, structs, enums, tuples, protocols
  • [x] Powerful events system, that covers all UITableView delegate and datasource methods
  • [x] Views created from code, XIB, or storyboard
  • [x] Flexible Memory/CoreData/Realm.io storage options
  • [x] Automatic datasource and interface synchronization.
  • [x] Automatic XIB registration and dequeue
  • [x] No type casts required
  • [x] No need to subclass
  • [x] Support for Drag&Drop in iOS 11
  • [x] Can be used with UITableViewController, or UIViewController with UITableView, or any other class, that contains UITableView


  • Xcode 8 and higher
  • iOS 8.0 and higher / tvOS 9.0 and higher
  • Swift 3 and higher



pod 'DTTableViewManager', '~> 6.3'


github "DenHeadless/DTTableViewManager" ~> 6.3

After running carthage update drop DTTableViewManager.framework and DTModelStorage.framework to Xcode project embedded binaries.

Quick start

DTTableViewManager framework has two parts - core framework, and storage classes. Import them both to your view controller class to start:

import DTTableViewManager
import DTModelStorage

Let's say you have an array of Posts you want to display in UITableView. To quickly show them using DTTableViewManager, here's what you need to do:

  • Create UITableViewCell subclass, let's say PostCell. Adopt ModelTransfer protocol
class PostCell : UITableViewCell, ModelTransfer {
	func update(with model: Post) {
		// Fill your cell with actual data
  • Declare your class as DTTableViewManageable, and it will be automatically injected with manager property, that will hold an instance of DTTableViewManager.

  • Make sure your UITableView outlet is wired to your class and call registration methods (typically in viewDidLoad method):


ModelType will be automatically gathered from your PostCell. If you have a PostCell.xib file, it will be automatically registered for PostCell. If you have a storyboard with PostCell, set it's reuseIdentifier to be identical to class - "PostCell".

  • Add your posts!

That's it! It's that easy!


Mapping and registration

  • register(_:)
  • registerNibNamed(_:for:)
  • registerHeader(_:)
  • registerNibNamed(_:forHeader:)
  • registerFooter(_:)
  • registerNibNamed(_:forFooter:)
  • registerNiblessHeader(_:)
  • registerNiblessFooter(_:)

By default, DTTableViewManager uses section titles and tableView(_:titleForHeaderInSection:) UITableViewDatasource methods. However, if you call any mapping methods for headers or footers, it will automatically switch to using tableView(_:viewForHeaderInSection:) methods and dequeue UITableViewHeaderFooterView instances. Make your UITableViewHeaderFooterView subclasses conform to ModelTransfer protocol to allow them participate in mapping.

You can also use UIView subclasses for headers and footers.

Data models

DTTableViewManager supports all Swift and Objective-C types as data models. This also includes protocols and subclasses.

protocol Food {}
class Apple : Food {}
class Carrot: Food {}

class FoodTableViewCell : UITableViewCell, ModelTransfer {
    func update(with model: Food) {
        // Display food in a cell

Storage classes

DTModelStorage is a framework, that provides storage classes for DTTableViewManager. By default, storage property on DTTableViewManager holds a MemoryStorage instance.


MemoryStorage is a class, that manages UITableView models in memory. It has methods for adding, removing, replacing, reordering table view models etc. You can read all about them in DTModelStorage repo. Basically, every section in MemoryStorage is an array of SectionModel objects, which itself is an object, that contains optional header and footer models, and array of table items.


CoreDataStorage is meant to be used with NSFetchedResultsController. It automatically monitors all NSFetchedResultsControllerDelegate methods and updates UI accordingly to it's changes. All you need to do to display CoreData models in your UITableView, is create CoreDataStorage object and set it on your storage property of DTTableViewManager.

It also recommended to use built-in CoreData updater to properly update UITableView:

manager.tableViewUpdater = manager.coreDataUpdater()

Standard flow for creating CoreDataStorage can be something like this:

let request = NSFetchRequest<Post>()
request.entity = NSEntityDescription.entity(forEntityName: String(Post.self), in: context)
request.fetchBatchSize = 20
request.sortDescriptors = [NSSortDescriptor(key: "id", ascending: true)]
let fetchResultsController = NSFetchedResultsController(fetchRequest: request, managedObjectContext: context, sectionNameKeyPath: nil, cacheName: nil)
_ = try? fetchResultsController.performFetch()

manager.storage = CoreDataStorage(fetchedResultsController: fetchResultsController)

Keep in mind, that MemoryStorage is not limited to objects in memory. For example, if you have CoreData database, and you now for sure, that number of items is not big, you can choose not to use CoreDataStorage and NSFetchedResultsController. You can fetch all required models, and store them in MemoryStorage.


RealmStorage is a class, that is meant to be used with realm.io databases. To use RealmStorage with DTTableViewManager, add following line to your Podfile:

    pod 'DTModelStorage/Realm'

Reacting to events

Event system in DTTableViewManager 5 allows you to react to UITableViewDelegate and UITableViewDataSource events based on view and model types, completely bypassing any switches or ifs when working with UITableView API. For example:

manager.didSelect(PostCell.self) { cell, model, indexPath in
  print("Selected PostCell with \(model) at \(indexPath)")


All events with closures are stored on DTTableViewManager instance, so be sure to declare [weak self] in capture lists to prevent retain cycles.

Event types

There are two types of events:

  1. Event where we have underlying view at runtime
  2. Event where we have only data model, because view has not been created yet.

In the first case, we are able to check view and model types, and pass them into closure. In the second case, however, if there's no view, we can't make any guarantees of which type it will be, therefore it loses view generic type and is not passed to closure. These two types of events have different signature, for example:

// Signature for didSelect event
// We do have a cell, when UITableView calls "tableView(_:didSelectRowAt:)" method
open func didSelect<T:ModelTransfer>(_ cellClass:  T.Type, _ closure: @escaping (T,T.ModelType, IndexPath) -> Void) where T:UITableViewCell

// Signature for heightForCell event
// When UITableView calls "tableView(_:heightForRowAt:)" method, cell is not created yet, so closure contains two arguments instead of three, and there are no guarantees made about cell type, only model type
open func heightForCell<T>(withItem itemType: T.Type, _ closure: @escaping (T, IndexPath) -> CGFloat)

It's also important to understand, that event system is implemented using responds(to:) method override and is working on the following rules:

  • If DTTableViewManageable is implementing delegate method, responds(to:) returns true
  • If DTTableViewManager has events tied to selector being called, responds(to:) also returns true

What this approach allows us to do, is configuring UITableView knowledge about what delegate method is implemented and what is not. For example, DTTableViewManager is implementing tableView(_:heightForRowAt:) method, however if you don't call heightForCell(withItem:_:) method, you are safe to use self-sizing cells in UITableView. While all delegate methods are implemented, only those that have events or are implemented by delegate will be called by UITableView.

DTTableViewManager has the same approach for handling each delegate and datasource method:

  • Try to execute event, if cell and model type satisfy requirements
  • Try to call delegate or datasource method on DTTableViewManageable instance
  • If two previous scenarios fail, fallback to whatever default UITableView has for this delegate or datasource method

Events configuration

To have compile safety when registering events, you can use configureEvents method:

manager.configureEvents(for: IntCell.self) { cellType, modelType in
  manager.estimatedHeight(for: modelType) { _,_ in
    return 44

Advanced usage

Drag and Drop in iOS 11

There is a dedicated repo, containing Apple's sample on Drag&Drop, enhanced with DTTableViewManager and DTCollectionViewManager. Most of the stuff is just usual drop and drag delegate events, but there is also special support for UITableView and UICollectionView placeholders, that makes sure calls are dispatched to main thread, and if you use MemoryStorage, performs datasource updates automatically.

Reacting to content updates

Sometimes it's convenient to know, when data is updated, for example to hide UITableView, if there's no data. TableViewUpdater has willUpdateContent and didUpdateContent properties, that can help:

updater.willUpdateContent = { update in
  print("UI update is about to begin")

updater.didUpdateContent = { update in
  print("UI update finished")

Customizing UITableView updates

DTTableViewManager uses TableViewUpdater class by default. However for CoreData you might want to tweak UI updating code. For example, when reloading cell, you might want animation to occur, or you might want to silently update your cell. This is actually how Apple's guide for NSFetchedResultsController suggests you should do. Another interesting thing it suggests that .Move event reported by NSFetchedResultsController should be animated not as a move, but as deletion of old index path and insertion of new one.

If you want to work with CoreData and NSFetchedResultsController, just call:

manager.tableViewUpdater = manager.coreDataUpdater()

TableViewUpdater constructor allows customizing it's basic behaviour:

let updater = TableViewUpdater(tableView: tableView, reloadRow: { indexPath in
  // Reload row
}, animateMoveAsDeleteAndInsert: false)

These are all default options, however you might implement your own implementation of TableViewUpdater, the only requirement is that object needs to conform to StorageUpdating protocol. This gives you full control on how and when DTTableViewManager will update UITableView.

TableViewUpdater also contains all animation options, that can be changed, for example:

updater.deleteSectionAnimation = UITableViewRowAnimation.fade
updater.insertRowAnimation = UITableViewRowAnimation.automatic

Display header on empty section

By default, headers are displayed if there's header model for them in section, even if there are no items in section. This behaviour can be changed:

manager.configuration.displayHeaderOnEmptySection = false
// or
manager.configuration.displayFooterOnEmptySection = false

Also you can use simple String models for header and footer models, without any registration, and they will be used in tableView(_:titleForHeaderInSection:) method automatically.

Conditional mappings

There can be cases, where you might want to customize mappings based on some criteria. For example, you might want to display model in several kinds of cells for different sections:

class FoodTextCell: UITableViewCell, ModelTransfer {
    func update(with model: Food) {
        // Text representation

class FoodImageCell: UITableViewCell, ModelTransfer {
    func update(with model: Food) {
        // Photo representation

manager.register(FoodTextCell.self) { mapping in mapping.condition = .section(0) }
manager.register(FoodImageCell.self) { mapping in mapping.condition = .section(1) }

Or you may implement completely custom conditions:

manager.register(FooCell.self) { mapping in
  mapping.condition = .custom({ indexPath, model in
    guard let model = model as? Int else { return false }
    return model > 2

You can also change reuseIdentifier to be used:

manager.register(NibCell.self) { mapping in
    mapping.condition = .section(0)
    mapping.reuseIdentifier = "NibCell One"
controller.manager.registerNibNamed("CustomNibCell", for: NibCell.self) { mapping in
    mapping.condition = .section(1)
    mapping.reuseIdentifier = "NibCell Two"

Anomaly handler

DTTableViewManager is built on some conventions. For example, your cell needs to have reuseIdentifier that matches the name of your class, XIB files need to be named also identical to the name of your class(to work with default mapping without customization). However when those conventions are not followed, or something unexpected happens, your app may crash or behave inconsistently. Most of the errors are reported by UITableView API, but there's space to improve.

And so, starting with 6.3.0 release, DTTableViewManager as well as DTCollectionViewManager and DTModelStorage now have dedicated anomaly analyzer, that tries to find inconsistencies and programmer errors when using those frameworks. It detects stuff like missing mappings, inconsistencies in xib files, and even unused events. By default, detected anomalies will be printed in console while you are debugging your app. For example, if you try to register an empty xib to use for your cell, here's what you'll see in console:

⚠️[DTTableViewManager] Attempted to register xib EmptyXib for PostCell, but this xib does not contain any views.

Messages are prefixed, so for DTCollectionViewManager messages will have [DTCollectionViewManager] prefix.

By default, anomaly handler only prints information into console and does not do anything beyond that, but you can change it's behavior by assigning a custom handler for anomalies:

manager.anomalyHandler.anomalyAction = { anomaly in
  // invoke custom action

For example, you may want to send all detected anomalies to analytics you have in your app. For this case anomalies implement shorter description, that is more suitable for analytics, that often have limits for amount of data you can put in. To do that globally for all instances of DTTableViewManager that will be created during runtime of your app, set default action:

DTTableViewManagerAnomalyHandler.defaultAction = { anomaly in

  analytics.postEvent("DTTableViewManager", anomaly.description)

If you use DTTableViewManager and DTCollectionViewManager, you can override 3 default actions for both manager frameworks and DTModelStorage, presumably during app initialization, before any views are loaded:

DTTableViewManagerAnomalyHandler.defaultAction = { anomaly in }
DTCollectionViewManagerAnomalyHandler.defaultAction = { anomaly in }
MemoryStorageAnomalyHandler.defaultAction = { anomaly in }

Unregistering mappings

You can unregister cells, headers and footers from DTTableViewManager and UITableView by calling:


This is equivalent to calling tableView(register:nil,forCellWithReuseIdenfier: "FooCell")

ObjectiveC support

DTTableViewManager is heavily relying on Swift protocol extensions, generics and associated types. Enabling this stuff to work on Objective-c right now is not possible. Because of this DTTableViewManager 4 and greater only supports building from Swift. If you need to use Objective-C, you can use latest Objective-C compatible version of DTTableViewManager.


  • Alexey Belkevich for providing initial implementation of CellFactory.
  • Michael Fey for providing insight into NSFetchedResultsController updates done right.
  • Nickolay Sheika for great feedback, that helped shaping 3.0 release.
  • Artem Antihevich for great discussions about Swift generics and type capturing.


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6.3.0 - Jun 9, 2018


  • Anomaly detecting system for various errors in DTTableViewManager. Read more about it in Anomaly Handler Readme section. Anomaly handler system requires Swift 4.1 and higher.
  • Support for Swift 4.2 in Xcode 10 beta 1.


  • Calling startManaging(withDelegate:_) method is no longer required.


  • viewFactoryErrorHandler deprecated property on DTTableViewManager was removed. All previously reported errors and warnings are now a part of anomaly detecting system.

6.2.0 - May 3, 2018


  • editingStyle(for:_,_:) method was replaced with editingStyle(forItem:_,:_) method, that accepts model and indexPath closure, without cell. Reason for that is that UITableView may call this method when cell is not actually on screen, in which case this event would not fire, and current editingStyle of the cell would be lost.

6.1.1 - Apr 2, 2018

  • Updates for Xcode 9.3 and Swift 4.1

6.1.0 - Jan 19, 2018

6.1.0-beta.1 - Dec 4, 2017

  • Implemented new system for deferring datasource updates until performBatchUpdates block. This system is intended to fight crash, that might happen when performBatchUpdates method is called after UITableView.reloadData method(for example after calling memoryStorage.setItems, and then immediately memoryStorage.addItems). This issue is detailed in https://github.com/DenHeadless/DTCollectionViewManager/issues/27 and https://github.com/DenHeadless/DTCollectionViewManager/issues/23. This crash can also happen, if iOS 11 API UITableView.performBatchUpdates is used. This system is turned on by default. If, for some reason, you want to disable it and have old behavior, call:
manager.memoryStorage.defersDatasourceUpdates = false
  • TableViewUpdater now uses iOS 11 performBatchUpdates API, if this API is available. This API will work properly on MemoryStorage only if defersDatasourceUpdates is set to true - which is default. However, if for some reason you need to use legacy methods beginUpdates, endUpdates, you can enable them like so:
manager.tableViewUpdater?.usesLegacyTableViewUpdateMethods = true

Please note, though, that new default behavior is recommended, because it is more stable and works the same on both UITableView and UICollectionView.

  • tableViewUpdater property on DTTableViewManager is now of TableViewUpdater type instead of opaque StorageUpdating type. This should ease use of this object and prevent type unneccessary type casts.