Auto Update

A simple Protocol Oriented Framework for writing easily-updatable, data-driven views.


I’m using a Protocol called Unit because a game I’m making involves war stuff.

Model Protocol

protocol Unit {
var name: String { get set }
var id: String { get }
var status: UnitStatus { get set }

I also need to be able to equate them.

func ==(lhs: Unit?, rhs: Unit?) -> Bool {
return (lhs?.id == rhs?.id)

Now I’ll create a simple struct to conform to my Unit protocol.

struct Hero: Unit {
var id: String
var name: String
var status: UnitStatus

View Protocol

Next is my view protocol for displaying a Unit. This will be shockingly called UnitView.

protocol UnitView {
var unit: Unit? { get }
func prepare(withUnit unit: Unit?)

I can add whatever I’d like into this protocol, but the magic happens in the prepare(withUnit unit: Unit?). I put all of my view updating code in prepare(withUnit unit: Unit?) and I’m good to go.

I need to extend the UnitView protocol for UIViews (you can also do UIViewControllers as well) so I can call autoUpdate(), which makes the view an observer of data store updates.

extension UnitView where Self: UIView {
func autoUpdate() {
NotificationCenter.default.addObserver(forName: NSNotification.Name.objectUpdated, object: nil, queue: OperationQueue.main) {
[weak self] (notification: Notification) in

guard let unit = notification.userInfo?["unit"] as? Unit else {

if self?.unit == unit {
self?.unit = unit
self?.prepare(withUnit: unit)

Once the autoUpdate() function is called in my view initialization, my views (or View Controllers) will update themselves.

Here is an example of a UICollectionViewCell conforming to UnitView ready to be auto updated.

class UnitCollectionViewCell: UICollectionViewCell, UnitView {

var unit: Unit?

@IBOutlet weak var nameLabel: UILabel!
@IBOutlet weak var statusLabel: UILabel!

override func awakeFromNib() {

func prepare(withUnit unit: Unit?) {
self.nameLabel.text = unit?.name
self.statusLabel.text = unit?.face()

override func prepareForReuse() {
prepare(withUnit: unit)

Data Store

Another key component to the Auto Update framework is a data store to send out notifications to our UnitViews.

Here is all I need for a simple data store.

class DataStore {

static let shared = DataStore()

func update(object: Unit?) {
guard let updatedUnit = object else {

// save the object in whatever way you need to

// notifies our UnitViews that a Unit was updated NSNotification.Name.objectUpdated, object: nil, userInfo: [Constants.objectKey: updatedUnit])