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Gabardone/StronglyTypedID 2.0.1
Simple, easy to use strongly typed unique IDs for all your model needs.
⭐️ 0
🕓 4 weeks ago
iOS macOS watchOS tvOS macCatalyst
.package(url: "https://github.com/Gabardone/StronglyTypedID.git", from: "2.0.1")


Swift Package Manager compatible

"Put an ID on it" and "use more functional programming" are the go-to solutions to any programming question these days. This package won't help you with the latter, but it should make your experience of the former in a Swift environment a lot more pleasant and safe.

This package allows Swift developers to make every ID type a distinct Swift type with extremely low effort, while not getting in the way of codability and testability nor adding nearly any friction to any further development. Javascript folks may just throw a string wherever but it's not like their programming language lets them easily do more than that.


This should work fine everywhere that Swift 5.9 can be used. It's currently configured to work on any platform supported by Xcode 15. If you need support for earlier versions of any Apple platforms you can use version 1.0.0 of the package, since macro support is the only dependency forcing the newer toolset and minimum OS version deployment.


The easiest way to adopt is to just use the #StronglyTypedID macro. Its two basic parameters being the name of the ID type and its backing type.

The macro just declares a value type that complies with the StronglyTypedID protocol as well as its rawValue stored property.

Optionally, you can declare compliance with other protocols using the macro's adopts variadic parameter. This allows for setting a hierarchy of ID types if that is a desirable set up.

For example if we want to manage our clowns with value model types, as is the current fashion, and identify them using UUID values, we'd declare the following:

struct Clown: Identifiable {
    #StronglyTypedID("ID", backing: UUID)
    var id: ID
    var name: String
    var noseColor: CGColor
    var shoeSize: Double
    var musicalInstrument: MusicalInstrument
    /* ... */

Nothing stops us from declaring similarly for reference types, although for protocol types we'd need to declare them outside since Swift protocols don't allow for internal types. So if we ended up with an abstract façade for our clowns we'd end up with the following:

#StronglyTypedID("ClownID", backing: UUID)

protocol Clown: Identifiable {
    var id: ClownID { get }
    var name: String { get set }
    var noseColor: CGColor { get set }
    /* ... */
    func honk(times: Int)
    /* ... */

Of course if we became victims of feature creep and started building a comprehensive circus HR solution we may end up wanting to make sure that our clowns are, despite everything they've done, treated the same as any other human being working for the circus. As such you'd just need to add common protocols to the ID types as to be able to use them in common functionality:

protocol Performer {
    var salary: Decimal

protocol PerformerID: StronglyTypedID {}

struct Clown: Identifiable, Performer {
    #StronglyTypedID("ID", backing: UUID, adopts: PerformerID)

struct Acrobat: Identifiable {
    #StronglyTypedID("ID", backing: UUID, adopts: PerformerID)

protocol Payroll {
    func pay(performer: PerformerID, period: TimeInterval) -> Decimal


StronglyTypedID includes a default implementation of Codable that avoids key-value coding for the contents. This is awfully convenient when dealing with outside data like your typical JSON backend reply, which generally just has a string field for the id of whatever data you're getting.

Continuing with our clownish conceit, we're moving into the clowns-as-a-service space and our backend is sending us back the following available clowns:

    "id": "CD6AB6A4-3FE8-4B47-913B-B5F5D65DD6B2",
    "name": "Pagliacci",
    "noseColor": "0xff0000",
    "shoeSize": 18
    "id": "1DAFCD43-C8C8-40D9-B519-749B15B3A94F",
    "name": "Bozo",
    "noseColor": "0xffff00",
    "shoeSize": 10

What do you need to do to decode those plain strings into our UUID IDs here? absolutely nothing. Well you might need to be sure that the backend folks are always sending you v4 UUIDs in there since that's what the Foundation UUID type supports. You'll probably also need to do something about those hex colors but that's just because this is a terrible example.

Then again, what would you need to do to encode your UUID-based strongly typed IDs into something that the backend can chew on? absolutely nothing. They'll just encode themselves into the string form of the UUID and off you go.


When writing tests, you are unlikely to care that your unique IDs are that unique to begin with. You have control over them and may want to make sure they are easy to track through a test's execution and validation.

This applies mostly to types where there's no intrinsic validation to the ID raw value itself (in other words UUIDs and other forms of global unique ID with specified formatting still need to be handled with care).

For those types of IDs, allowing for using string constants to build IDs makes setting up test data much simpler. Let's assume that our Clown is using a String-based strongly typed ID and we are writing some unit tests for our ClownCar

final class ClownCarTests: XCTestCase {
    func testSeventeenClowns() throws {
        let seventeen = 17
        let clownCar = ClownCar()
        for index in 1 ... seventeen {
                id: "Clown-id-\(index)",
                name: "Clown #\(index)",
                /* ... */

        // Test that the clowns survive.
        XCTAssertNoThrow(try clownCar.jumpOverPiranhaPool())
        // Test that the clowns have been shaken but not stirred:
        for index in 1 ... seventeen {
            XCTAssertEqual(clownCar.clowns[index].id, "Clown-id-\(index)")

Well if you try to build that, it won't. However, if you add the following line, it will all build fine and you'll be able to automate computerized cruelty to clowns:

extension Clown.ID: ExpressibleByStringInterpolation {}

The main reason we don't include this into String-based IDs by default is that we don't know which ones would support it (just because a strongly typed ID is String-based doesn't mean it'll support any random String as a raw value) and because generally you wouldn't want initialization by string constant to happen by accident in the real application's code —you can still use init(rawValue:) to bring them into being if needed—.


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Last commit: 4 weeks ago
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Release Notes

4 weeks ago
  • Added VisionOS support
    • No actual logic changes involved.

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