Create an iOS app


This tutorial shows how to add Azure App Service Mobile Apps, a cloud backend service, to an iOS app. The first step is to create a new mobile backend on Azure. Then, download a simple Todo list iOS sample app that stores data in Azure.

To complete this tutorial, you need a Mac and an Azure account

Step I: Create a new Azure mobile app backend

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Click Create a resource.

  3. In the search box, type Mobile Apps.

    Azure portal with Mobile Apps Quickstart highlighted

  4. In the results list, select Mobile Apps Quickstart, and then select Create.

  5. Choose a unique App name. This will also be part of the domain name for your App Service.

  6. Under Resource Group, select an existing resource group or create a new one (using the same name as your app).

  7. Click Create. Wait a few minutes for the service to be deployed successfully before proceeding. Watch the Notifications (bell) icon in the portal header for status updates.

Step II: Configure the backend project

  1. Click the App Services button, select your Mobile Apps back end, select Quickstart, and then select your client platform (iOS, Android, Xamarin, Cordova).

    Azure portal with Mobile Apps Quickstart highlighted

  2. If a database connection is not configured, create one by doing the following:

    Azure portal with Mobile Apps Connect to database

    a. Create a new SQL database and server. You may need to leave the connection string name field to the default value of MS_TableConnectionString in order to complete step 3 below.

    Azure portal with Mobile Apps create new database and server

    b. Wait until the data connection is successfully created.

    Azure portal notification of successful creation of data connection

    c. Data connection must be successful.

    Azure portal notification, "You already have a data connection"

  3. Under 2. Create a table API, select Node.js for Backend language.

  4. Accept the acknowledgment, and then select Create TodoItem table. This action creates a new to-do item table in your database.


    Switching an existing back end to Node.js overwrites all contents. To create a .NET back end instead, see Work with the .NET back-end server SDK for Mobile Apps.

Step III: Download and run the iOS app

  1. On your Mac, visit the Azure portal. Click All Services > App Services > the backend that you just created. In the mobile app settings, choose your preferred language:

    • Objective-C – Quickstart > iOS (Objective-C)

    • Swift – Quickstart > iOS (Swift)

      Under 3. Configure your client application, click Download. This downloads a complete Xcode project pre-configured to connect to your backend. Open the project using Xcode.

  2. Press the Run button to build the project and start the app in the iOS simulator.

  3. In the app, click the plus (+) icon, type meaningful text, such as Complete the tutorial, and then click the save button. This sends a POST request to the Azure backend you deployed earlier. The backend inserts data from the request into the TodoItem SQL table, and returns information about the newly stored items back to the mobile app. The mobile app displays this data in the list.

    Quickstart app running on iOS