Tuesday, January 12, 2016

CloudKit JS


CloudKit is still the way that developers access the iCloud database, but Apple has provided a brand new way of accessing their CloudKit servers: CloudKit web services. CloudKit web services allows apps to access CloudKit via a really nice web framework called CloudKit JS. When these changes were announced at WWDC, we were excited to start working with this new framework to see what possibilities it would present. Ultimately, CloudKit JS enabled us to support iCloud sync in our AgileBits Store version of 1Password.


To make sync as seamless and stable as possible we wanted to make very few changes to the existing sync code in 1Password. We felt the best way to do that was to make a framework that looks and acts like Apple’s native CloudKit framework, but uses the CloudKit web services. This means 1Password can use Apple’s native CloudKit framework in the Mac App Store version, and our new AgileCloudKit framework in the AgileBits Store version.


CloudKit JS does not use the iCloud settings from OS X, so to authenticate with Apple, 1Password will prompt you to log in to your iCloud account by displaying the iCloud login page in your default web browser.

They plan to make the framework open source, which is great news. But think of all the engineering hours spent making a harder to use version of the API Apple is withholding.

Michael Fey:

We need to have a product in the store, but the customer does not need to own it to use AgileCloudKit.

Dave DeLong:

Yes. The policy is that you can use the [Web service] as long as you have a comparable app in the stores

Update (2016-05-06): Rick Fillion:

Today we’re pleased to announce that AgileCloudKit is officially open source and available on GitHub. AgileCloudKit is a framework that we’ve built for the purpose of bringing iCloud Sync to the AgileBits Store version of 1Password. AgileCloudKit allows us to take our existing iCloud Sync solution and make it work outside the Mac App Store.

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Hello, we’re organising jsconf.be in May. We are looking for anyone willing to do a session (or a workshop) on cloudkit.js — should you know anyone, please forward this request. many thanks.


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