Introducing: Parse Browser for iOS

Ever since I signed up for Parse.com and started using it as my BaaS-provider, my app development has sped up significantly.

Needless to say, there are a lot of things I love about the service. The user-friendly API, the generous free limits and the schema-less db model to mention a few.

However, there’s one thing that has always bugged me. I’m usually on the go, and I like when I have my tools available from the comfort of my iPhone, when I need them. The Data Browser view that shows and lets you manage your classes and objects does not work from mobile Safari. Neither is there an app from Parse themselves to support this.

So I built one.

I call it “Data Browser for Parse”, and I’d like to show it to you:

This app lets you add your own apps from the Parse Dashboard that you want to manage, with your own name and keys, as given in the Parse Dashboard. And don’t worry, as I use this myself, and I’m pretty paranoid when it comes to giving out my personal keys and stuff, I made sure the keys are securely stored in the iOS keychain as recommended by Apple.

After adding the app info, and selecting which one to work with, it’s just a matter of adding the relevant classes to manage. The Parse iOS SDK isn’t really built, I guess, to extract user info about a user’s apps and classes, it’s pretty limited in that you have to know the name of the class you want to work with, so for the time being, this has to be set manually. It’s not too difficult, though :)

After adding your first class, you might find that the “name” shown in the list isn’t really what you would have chosen as an identifier for your objects. Hey, no ones data looks the same, so I figured it would be best to make this configurable. So, in the navigation bar, there’s a button where you can select which of your class columns you wish to use as a “title” column for you objects. As you can see in my screenshots above, I have a list of “Questions” where the “answer” column is what I use to know which object is which. (And as a last resort, I included the objectId in case you have a lot of objects with the same name)

Now, the fun begins. Use the app to browse around your data, tap a field to edit it, modify your arrays and objects, or go ahead and add a new column to your class!

The rest is up to you!

PS. The app is currently in the App Store Review line, but be sure to keep an eye out on this page or on my twitter when it gets approved!

EDIT: The App is now live and kicking in the App Store! Get it here

Posted: April 6th, 2014
Categories: Design, Mobile
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