iOS SwiftUI App

Example applications are a great way to explore the headless capabilities of Adobe Experience Manager (AEM). This iOS application demonstrates how to query content using the GraphQL APIs of AEM. The Apollo Client iOS is used to generate the GraphQL queries and map data to Swift objects to power the app. SwiftUI is used to render a simple list and detail view of the content.

View the source code on GitHub


The following tools should be installed locally:

AEM Requirements

The application is designed to connect to an AEM Publish environment with the latest release of the WKND Reference site installed.

We recommend deploying the WKND Reference site to a Cloud Service environment. A local setup using the AEM Cloud Service SDK or AEM 6.5 QuickStart jar can also be used.

How to use

  1. Clone the aem-guides-wknd-graphql repository:

    git clone
  2. Launch Xcode and open the folder ios-swiftui-app

  3. Modify the file Config.xcconfig file and update AEM_HOST to match your target AEM Publish environment

    // Target hostname for AEM environment, do not include http:// or https://
    AEM_HOST = localhost:4503
    // GraphQL Endpoint
    AEM_GRAPHQL_ENDPOINT = /content/cq:graphql/wknd/endpoint.json
  4. Build the application using Xcode and deploy the app to iOS simulator

  5. A list of adventures from the WKND reference site should be displayed on the application.

The code

Below is a brief summary of the important files and code used to power the application. The full code can be found on GitHub.

Apollo iOS

The Apollo iOS client is used by the app to execute the GraphQL query against AEM. The official Apollo Tutorial has much more detail on how to install and use.

schema.json is a file that represents the GraphQL schema from an AEM environment with the WKND Reference site installed. schema.json was downloaded from AEM and added to the project. The Apollo client inspects any files with the extension .graphql as part of a custom Build Phase. The Apollo client then uses the schema.json file and any .graphql queries to automatically generate the file API.swift.

This provides the application a strongly typed model to execute the query and model(s) representing the results.

Xcode custom build phase

AdventureList.graphql contains the query used to query the adventures:

query AdventureList
  adventureList {
    items {
      adventureDescription {
      adventurePrimaryImage {
        ...on ImageRef {

Network.swift constructs the ApolloClient. The endpointURL used is constructed by reading the values of the Config.xcconfig file. If you wanted to connect to an AEM Author instance and needed to add additional headers for authentication, you would want to modify the ApolloClient here.

// Network.swift
private(set) lazy var apollo: ApolloClient = {
        // The cache is necessary to set up the store, which we're going to hand to the provider
        let cache = InMemoryNormalizedCache()
        let store = ApolloStore(cache: cache)

        let client = URLSessionClient()
        let provider = DefaultInterceptorProvider(client: client, shouldInvalidateClientOnDeinit: true, store: store)
        let url = Connection.baseURL // from Configx.xcconfig

        // no additional headers, public instances by default require no additional authentication
        let requestChainTransport = RequestChainNetworkTransport(interceptorProvider: provider, endpointURL: url)

        return ApolloClient(networkTransport: requestChainTransport,store: store)

Adventure Data

The application is designed to display a list of Adventures and then a detail view of each adventure.

AdventuresDataModel.swift is a class that includes a function fetchAdventures(). This function uses the ApolloClient to execute the query. On a successful query the results array will be of type AdventureListQuery.Data.AdventureList.Item, auto-generated by the API.swift file.

func fetchAdventures() {
            //AdventureListQuery() generated based on AdventureList.graphql file
           .fetch(query: AdventureListQuery()) { [weak self] result in

             guard let self = self else {

             switch result {
             case .success(let graphQLResult):
                print("Success AdventureListQuery() from: \(graphQLResult.source)")

                if let adventureDataItems = {
                    // map graphQL items to an array of Adventure objects
                    self.adventures = adventureDataItems.compactMap { Adventure(adventureData: $0!) }

It is possible to use AdventureListQuery.Data.AdventureList.Item directly to power the application. However it is very possible that some of the data is incomplete and therefore some of the properties may be null.

Adventure.swift is a custom model introduced acts as a wrapper of the model generated by Apollo. Adventure is initialized with AdventureListQuery.Data.AdventureList.Item. A typealias is used to shorten to make the code more readable:

// use typealias
typealias AdventureData = AdventureListQuery.Data.AdventureList.Item

The Adventure struct is initialized with an AdventureData object:

struct Adventure: Identifiable {
    let id: String
    let adventureTitle: String
    let adventurePrice: String
    let adventureDescription: String
    let adventureActivity: String
    let adventurePrimaryImageUrl: String

    // initialize with AdventureData object aka AdventureListQuery.Data.AdventureList.Item
    init(adventureData: AdventureData) {
        // use path as unique idenitifer, otherwise = adventureData._path ?? UUID().uuidString
        self.adventureTitle = adventureData.adventureTitle ?? "Untitled"
        self.adventurePrice = adventureData.adventurePrice ?? "Free"
        self.adventureActivity = adventureData.adventureActivity ?? ""

This allows us to then provide default values and perform additional checks for incomplete data. We can then use the Adventure model safely to power various UI elements and do not have to constantly check for null values.

In AEM, pieces of content are uniquely identified by _path. In Adventure.swift we populate the id property with the value of _path. This allows Adventure to implement the Identifiable interface and makes it easier to iterate over an array or list.


SwiftUI is used for the various views in the application. A great tutorial for building lists and navigation can be found on Apple’s developer site. The code for this application is loosely derived from it.

WKNDAdventuresApp.swift is the entry of the application. It includes AdventureListView and the .onAppear event is used to fetch the adventure data.

AdventureListView.swift - creates a NavigationView and a list of adventures populated by AdventureRowView. Navigation to an AdventureDetailView is set up here.

AdventureRowView - displays the Adventure’s primary image and the Adventure Title in a row.

AdventureDetailView - displays a full detail of the individual adventure including the title, description, price, activity type and primary image.

When the Apollo CLI runs and re-generates API.swift it causes the preview to stop. To use the the Automatic Preview function, you will need to update the Apollo CLI Build Phase and check to run the script For Install builds only.

Check For install builds only

Remote Images

SDWebImageSwiftUI and SDWEbImage are used to load the remote images from AEM that populate the Adventure primary image on the Row and Detail views.

The AsyncImage is a native SwiftUI view that could also be used. AsyncImage is only supported for iOS 15.0+.

Additional Resources

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