AFNetworking 3.0 Migration Guide

Jeff Kelley edited this page Nov 23, 2017 · 19 revisions

AFNetworking 3.0 is the latest major release of AFNetworking, a delightful networking library for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. To keep this library maintainable moving forward, 3.0 removes all support for the now deprecated NSURLConnection based APIs. If your project was previously using these APIs, it is recommended that you now upgrade to the NSURLSession based APIs. This guide will step you through that process.

This guide is provided in order to ease the transition of existing applications using AFNetworking 2.X to the latest APIs, as well as explain the design and structure of new and changed functionality.

New Requirements: iOS 7, Mac OS X 10.9, watchOS 2, tvOS 9, & Xcode 7

AFNetworking 3.0 officially supports iOS 7+, Mac OS X 10.9+, watchOS 2+, tvOS 9, and Xcode 7. If you'd like to use AFNetworking in a project targeting an older SDK version, please check the README for compatibility information.

NSURLConnection APIs Have Been Removed

AFNetworking 1.0 was built on NSURLConnection based APIs, and AFNetworking 2.0 provided the option of either using the NSURLConnection based APIs, or the newer NSURLSession based APIs. AFNetworking 3.0 is now built exclusively on top of the NSURLSession based APIs, which lowers the maintenance burden going forward, while allowing for support of any additional features around future enhancements provided by Apple to NSURLSession. As of Xcode 7, NSURLConnection API has been officially deprecated by Apple. While the API will continue to function, no new features will be added, and Apple has advised all network based functionality to leverage NSURLSession going forward.

AFNetworking 2.x will continue to receive critical bug and security fixes, but no new functionality will be added going forward. The Alamofire Software Foundation recommends that all projects migrate to the NSURLSession based APIs going forward.

Classes Removed

The following classes have been removed from AFNetworking 3.0:

  • AFURLConnectionOperation
  • AFHTTPRequestOperation
  • AFHTTPRequestOperationManager

Modified Classes

The following classes contained internal implementations based on NSURLConnection APIs. They have been refactored to use NSURLSession APIs going forward.

  • UIImageView+AFNetworking
  • UIWebView+AFNetworking
  • UIButton+AFNetworking


AFHTTPRequestOperationManager Based Code

If you were previously using AFHTTPRequestOperationManager, you will need to migrate to AFHTTPSessionManager. Several components are reused between these classes, including the following:

  • securityPolicy
  • requestSerializer
  • responseSerializer

The following shows a simple example of migration to AFHTTPSessionManager. Note that the HTTP verb methods return NSURLSessionTask rather than AFHTTPRequestOperation, and the success and failure blocks pass in an NSURLSessionTask rather than an AFHTTPRequestOperation.

AFNetworking 2.x

AFHTTPRequestOperationManager *manager = [AFHTTPRequestOperationManager manager];
[manager GET:@"" parameters:nil success:^(AFHTTPRequestOperation *operation, id responseObject) {
    NSLog(@"JSON: %@", responseObject);
} failure:^(AFHTTPRequestOperation *operation, NSError *error) {
    NSLog(@"Error: %@", error);

AFNetworking 3.x

AFHTTPSessionManager *manager = [AFHTTPSessionManager manager];
[manager GET:@"" parameters:nil progress:nil success:^(NSURLSessionTask *task, id responseObject) {
    NSLog(@"JSON: %@", responseObject);
} failure:^(NSURLSessionTask *operation, NSError *error) {
    NSLog(@"Error: %@", error);

AFHTTPRequestOperation Based Code

Unlike NSURLConnection objects, which each share application-wide settings for session management, cache policies, cookie storage, and URL protocols, NSURLSession objects can configure these all individually. Once a session is initialized with a particular configuration, it can dispatch tasks to fetch data, and upload or download files.

With AFNetworking 2.0, leveraging AFHTTPRequestOperation, it was possible to create a single request with no additional overhead and fetch remote data. NSURLSession requires slightly more overhead, in order to gain access to functionality for the request itself.

Going forward, making a single request will require the creation of an AFHTTPSessionManager, followed by creating a task and starting it.

AFNetworking 2.x

NSURL *URL = [NSURL URLWithString:@""];
NSURLRequest *request = [NSURLRequest requestWithURL:URL];
AFHTTPRequestOperation *op = [[AFHTTPRequestOperation alloc] initWithRequest:request];
op.responseSerializer = [AFJSONResponseSerializer serializer];
[op setCompletionBlockWithSuccess:^(AFHTTPRequestOperation *operation, id responseObject) {
    NSLog(@"JSON: %@", responseObject);
} failure:^(AFHTTPRequestOperation *operation, NSError *error) {
    NSLog(@"Error: %@", error);
[[NSOperationQueue mainQueue] addOperation:op];

AFNetworking 3.x

NSURL *URL = [NSURL URLWithString:@""];
AFHTTPSessionManager *manager = [AFHTTPSessionManager manager];
[manager GET:URL.absoluteString parameters:nil progress:nil success:^(NSURLSessionTask *task, id responseObject) {
    NSLog(@"JSON: %@", responseObject);
} failure:^(NSURLSessionTask *operation, NSError *error) {
    NSLog(@"Error: %@", error);

Note that NSURLSession is not built upon NSOperation. If you have an app that heavily relies on the NSOperation aspects of AFURLConnectionOperation, there may be additional rework needed for your application to wrap AFHTTPSessionManager with an NSOperation based approach.

Tracking Progress

AFNetworking 3.0 uses NSProgress to track progress for NSURLSessionTasks. In addition to the block based convenience methods for upload and download tasks on AFURLSessionManager and GET and POST methods on AFHTTPSessionManager, AFURLSessionManager exposes helper methods to access NSProgress objects for each task:

  • uploadProgressForTask:
  • downloadProgressForTask:

Using KVO, progress can then be tracked for each task, assuming the response includes a Content-Length header. Please see #3187 for additional information around the progress changes in AFNetworking 3.0

UIKit Migrations

Image downloading has been refactored to follow the architecture from AlamofireImage with the new AFImageDownloader class. The UIButton and UIImageView categories now delegate image download responsiblities to this class, and each expose a shared reference to a downloader allowing for custom behavior if necessary. The actual methods for downloading remote images from the category interface remain unchanged.

The UIWebView category has been refactored to use a shared AFHTTPSessionManager for its network requests.

UIAlertView Category has been removed

The UIAlertView category has been removed in AFNetworking 3.0 since it is now deprecated. There are no plans to provide support for UIAlertController going forward, as this is logic that should be handled by the application, not this library.

Streamlined Example

The example project has been streamlined to support all available targets, including watchOS, tvOS, and iOS extensions.


If you have any additional questions around migration, feel free to open a documentation issue on Github to get more clarity added to this guide.

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