Powerful architecture for table view controllers
Objective-C Ruby
Clone or download
Pull request Compare This branch is 579 commits behind DenHeadless:master.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


Build Status

CocoaPod platform

CocoaPod version


Powerful architecture for UITableView controllers. The idea is to move all datasource methods to separate class, and add many helper methods to manage presentation of your data models.


But first off, why do we need this?

Lets imagine view controller, that manages table view presentation on itself.


Clearly, there are way to many connections, that your view controller needs to handle. And we only show table view stuff, however most likely your view controller is also doing other things, which will make this graph even more complicated.

Solution for this - separate datasource from view controller. DTTableViewManager does just that. Here's how picture looks, when we use it:


In the end, view controller is left with following stuff:

  • Register mapping between data model class and cell class.
  • Populate table view with data models

When view controller manages insertion, deletion, or moves items, it always struggles to keep datasource and table view in sync. DTTableViewManager does this automatically. View controller handles data models - table view is automatically updated.

Okay, enough talking, let's dive into code!


Simplest way for view controller is to subclass DTTableViewManager, set it's tableView property, delegate, datasource and off you go!

Mapping data models to cells

Registering cell mapping:

[self registerCellClass:[Cell class] forModelClass:[Model class]];

This will also register nib with "Cell" name, if it exists.

Adding data models to the table view

One item
[self addTableItem:model];

[self addTableItem:model withRowAnimation:UITableViewRowAnimationAutomatic;

[self addTableItem:model toSection:0];

All methods above are just shortcuts to method:

[self addTableItem:model toSection:0 withRowAnimation:UITableViewRowAnimationAutomatic];
Array of items
[self addTableItems:@[model1,model2]];
[self addTableItems:@[model1,model2] toSection:0];
[self addTableItems:@[model1,model2] withRowAnimation:UITableViewRowAnimationAutomatic];

These methods are shortcuts to method:

[self addTableItems:@[model1,model2] toSection:0 withRowAnimation:UITableViewRowAnimationAutomatic];

Removing data models

[self removeTableItem:model];
[self removeTableItem:model withRowAnimation:UITableViewRowAnimationAutomatic];
[self removeTableItems:@[model1,model2]];
[self removeTableItems:@[model1,model2] withRowAnimation:UITableViewRowAnimationAutomatic];

Replacing data models

[self replaceTableItem:model1 withTableItem:model2];
[self replaceTableItem:model1 withTableItem:model2 andRowAnimation:UITableViewRowAnimationAutomatic];

Inserting data models

[self insertTableItem:model toIndexPath:indexPath];
[self insertTableItem:model toIndexPath:indexPath withRowAnimation:UITableViewRowAnimationAutomatic];

What else do you have?

List is not full, for additional features like:

  • Search for tableItem / tableItems, getting all items from one section etc.
  • Section headers/footers titles and custom views
  • Section manipulations (delete, reload, move)

head on to documentation.

Notes on implementation

  • This approach requires every table view cell to have it's data model object.
  • Every cell after creation gets called with method updateWithModel: and receives data model to represent.
  • You can make your controller a subclass of DTTableViewManager, or you can make it a property on your controller and subclass from whatever you need.
  • Any datasource/delegate method can be overridden in your controller.


  • iOS 5.0
  • ARC


Simplest option is to use CocoaPods:

pod 'DTTableViewManager'


Example project is available in Example folder.


You can view documentation online or you can install it locally using following atom link: http://denheadless.github.com/DTTableViewManager/DTTableViewManager.atom. And, of course, cocoadocs is also a great option!



Features, that will be implemented in next version:

  • Easy search in UITableView.


Special thanks to Alexey Belkevich for providing initial implementation of CellFactory.