JSON Schema draft 4, 6 and 7 parsing and validation library written in Objective-C.
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Replace duplicated resolution scope URIs instead of failing schema, minor renamings
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README.md

DSJSONSchemaValidation

JSON Schema draft 4, draft 6 and draft 7 parsing and validation library written in Objective-C.

Carthage compatible CocoaPods CocoaPods CocoaPods

DSJSONSchemaValidation is a library that provides a set of classes for parsing JSON Schema documents into native Objective-C objects and subsequently using them to validate JSON documents.

The main feature of the library is an ability to "compile" the schema into a network of objects that describe that schema, so that it could be cached and reused for validation of multiple JSON documents in a performant manner, similar to the way NSRegularExpression and NSDateFormatter classes are used. One of the possible use cases of this library could be early validation of JSON response received from a web service, based on expectations described within the app in a form of JSON Schema.

DSJSONSchemaValidation supports all validation keywords of JSON Schema draft 4, 6 and 7. It is also possible to extend the functionality of the library by defining custom keywords to be used with specific metaschema URIs and custom formats for the format validation keyword. Note that JSON Schema draft 3 is not supported at the moment. There are also a few important limitations, including usage of external schema references, listed under Caveats and limitations.

Based on https://github.com/vlas-voloshin/JSONSchemaValidation

Requirements

DSJSONSchemaValidation currently supports building in Xcode 7.0 or later with ARC enabled. Minimum supported target platform versions are iOS 7.0, tvOS 9.0 and OS X 10.9. Library can be linked to Objective-C and Swift targets.

Installation

Carthage

  1. Add the following line to your Cartfile:

    github "dashevo/JSONSchemaValidation"
    
  2. Follow the instructions outlined in Carthage documentation to build and integrate the library into your app.

  3. Import library header in your source files:

    • Objective-C: #import <DSJSONSchemaValidation/DSJSONSchemaValidation.h>
    • Swift: import DSJSONSchemaValidation

CocoaPods

  1. Add the following line to your Podfile:

    pod 'DSJSONSchemaValidation'
    
  2. Import library header in your source files:

    • Objective-C: #import <DSJSONSchemaValidation/DSJSONSchema.h>
    • Swift: import DSJSONSchemaValidation

Framework (iOS 8.0+, tvOS and OS X)

  1. Download and copy the repository source files into your project, or add it as a submodule to your git repository.
  2. Drag&drop DSJSONSchemaValidation.xcodeproj into your project or workspace in Xcode.
  3. In "General" tab of Project Settings → Your Target, you might find that Xcode has added a missing framework item in "Embedded Binaries". Delete it for now.
  4. Still in "General" tab, add DSJSONSchemaValidation.framework from DSJSONSchemaValidation-iOS, DSJSONSchemaValidation-tvOS or DSJSONSchemaValidation-OSX target (depending on your target platform) to "Embedded Binaries". This should also add it to "Linked Frameworks and Libraries".
  5. Import library header in your source files:
    • Objective-C: #import <DSJSONSchemaValidation/DSJSONSchemaValidation.h>
    • Swift: import DSJSONSchemaValidation

Static library (iOS)

  1. Download and copy the repository source files into your project, or add it as a submodule to your git repository.
  2. Drag&drop DSJSONSchemaValidation.xcodeproj into your project or workspace in Xcode.
  3. In "General" section of Project Settings → Your Target, you might find that Xcode has added a missing framework item in "Embedded Binaries". Delete it for now.
  4. Still in "General" tab, add libDSJSONSchemaValidation.a to "Linked Frameworks and Libraries".
  5. Add project path to Your Target → Build Settings → Header Search Paths (e.g. "$(SRCROOT)/MyAwesomeProject/Vendor/DSJSONSchemaValidation/").
  6. Add -ObjC flag to Your Target → Build Settings → Other Linker Flags to ensure that categories defined in the static library are loaded.
  7. Import library header in your source files:
    • Objective-C: #import <DSJSONSchemaValidation/DSJSONSchema.h>
    • Swift: import DSJSONSchemaValidation

Source files

  1. Download and copy the repository source files into your project, or add it as a submodule to your git repository.
  2. Add the contents of DSJSONSchemaValidation directory into your project in Xcode.
  3. Import library header: #import "DSJSONSchema.h".

Usage

After importing the library header/module, use DSJSONSchema class to construct schema objects from NSData instances:

NSData *schemaData = [NSData dataWithContentsOfURL:mySchemaURL];
NSError *error = nil;
DSJSONSchema *schema = [DSJSONSchema schemaWithData:schemaData baseURI:nil referenceStorage:nil specification:[DSJSONSchemaSpecification draft4] error:&error];
if let schemaData = NSData(contentsOfURL: mySchemaURL) {
    let schema = try? DSJSONSchema(data: schemaData, baseURI: nil, referenceStorage: nil, specification:DSJSONSchemaSpecification.draft4())
}

or from parsed JSON instances:

NSData *schemaData = [NSData dataWithContentsOfURL:mySchemaURL];
// note that this object might be not an NSDictionary if schema JSON is invalid
NSDictionary *schemaJSON = [NSJSONSerialization JSONObjectWithData:schemaData options:0 error:NULL];
NSError *error = nil;
DSJSONSchema *schema = [DSJSONSchema schemaWithObject:schemaJSON baseURI:nil referenceStorage:nil specification:[DSJSONSchemaSpecification draft4] error:&error];
if let schemaData = NSData(contentsOfURL: mySchemaURL),
    schemaJSON = try? NSJSONSerialization.JSONObjectWithData(schemaData, options: [ ]),
    schemaDictionary = schemaJSON as? [String : AnyObject] {
    let schema = try? DSJSONSchema(object: schemaDictionary, baseURI: nil, referenceStorage: nil, specification: DSJSONSchemaSpecification.draft4())
}

Optional baseURI parameter specifies the base scope resolution URI of the constructed schema. Default scope resolution URI is empty. Optional referenceStorage parameter specifies a DSJSONSchemaStorage object that should contain "remote" schemas referenced in the instantiated schema. See Schema storage and external references for more details.

After constructing a schema object, you can use it to validate JSON instances. Again, these instances could be provided either as NSData objects:

NSData *jsonData = [NSData dataWithContentsOfURL:myJSONURL];
NSError *validationError = nil;
BOOL success = [schema validateObjectWithData:jsonData error:&validationError];
if let jsonData = NSData(contentsOfURL: myJSONURL) {
    do {
        try schema.validateObjectWithData(jsonData)
        // Success
    } catch let validationError as NSError {
        // Failure
    }
}

or parsed JSON instances:

NSData *jsonData = [NSData dataWithContentsOfURL:myJSONURL];
id json = [NSJSONSerialization JSONObjectWithData:jsonData options:0 error:NULL];
NSError *validationError = nil;
BOOL success = [schema validateObject:json error:&validationError];
if let jsonData = NSData(contentsOfURL: myJSONURL),
    json = try? NSJSONSerialization.JSONObjectWithData(jsonData, options: [ ]) {
    do {
        try schema.validateObject(json)
        // Success
    } catch let validationError as NSError {
        // Failure
    }
}

In case of a validation failure, the NSError object will contain the following keys in its userInfo dictionary:

  • DSJSONSchemaErrorFailingObjectKey (object) – contains a JSON representation of the object which failed validation.
  • DSJSONSchemaErrorFailingValidatorKey (validator) – references the failed validator object. Its description contains its class and validation parameters.
  • DSJSONSchemaErrorFailingObjectPathKey (path) – contains the full path to the failed object in a form of JSON Pointer. An empty path means that the root-level object failed validation.

Schema storage and external references

Resolving external schema references from network locations is deliberately not supported by DSJSONSchema. However, these external references can be provided using DSJSONSchemaStorage class. For example, if Schema A references Schema B at http://awesome.org/myHandySchema.json, the latter can be downloaded in advance and provided during instantiation of Schema A:

// obviously, in a real application, data from a website must not be loaded synchronously like this
NSURL *schemaBURL = [NSURL URLWithString:@"http://awesome.org/myHandySchema.json"];
NSData *schemaBData = [NSData dataWithContentsOfURL:schemaBURL];
DSJSONSchema *schemaB = [DSJSONSchema schemaWithData:schemaBData baseURI:schemaBURL referenceStorage:nil specification:[DSJSONSchemaSpecification draft4] error:NULL];
DSJSONSchemaStorage *referenceStorage = [DSJSONSchemaStorage storageWithSchema:schemaB];

// ... retrieve schemaAData ...

DSJSONSchema *schemaA = [DSJSONSchema schemaWithData:schemaAData baseURI:nil referenceStorage:referenceStorage specification:[DSJSONSchemaSpecification draft4] error:NULL];

DSJSONSchemaStorage objects can also be used in general to store schemas and retrieve them by their scope URI. Please refer to the documentation of that class in the source code for more information.

Performance

Note that constructing a DSJSONSchema object from a JSON representation incurs some computational cost in case of complex schemas. For this reason, if a single schema is expected to be used for validation multiple times, make sure you cache and reuse the corresponding DSJSONSchema object.

On iPhone 5s, DSJSONSchema shows the following performance when instantiating and validating against a medium-complexity schema (see advanced-example.json):

Operation Minimum Average Maximum
Instantiation + validation 4 ms 15 ms 24 ms
Instantiation only 3 ms 12 ms 20 ms
Validation only 1.2 ms 3.5 ms 5.8 ms

Project uses a major part of JSON Schema Test Suite to test its functionality. Running this suite on 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 processor shows the following performance:

Operation Time
Single suite instantiation 16.2 ms
Average suite instantiation 10.9 ms
First suite validation 3.69 ms
Average suite validation 3.44 ms

Extending

Using +[DSJSONSchema registerValidatorClass:forMetaschemaURI:withError:] method, custom JSON Schema keywords can be registered for the specified custom metaschema URI that must be present in the $schema property of the instantiated root schemas. Schema keywords are validated using objects conforming to DSJSONSchemaValidator protocol. Please refer to DSJSONSchema class documentation in the source code for more information.

Using +[DSJSONSchemaFormatValidator registerFormat:withRegularExpression:error:] and +[DSJSONSchemaFormatValidator registerFormat:withBlock:error:] methods, custom format names can be registered to be used in the built-in format keyword validator class to validate custom formats without the need to modify library code. Please refer to DSJSONSchemaFormatValidator class documentation in the source code for more information.

Thread safety

DSJSONSchema and all objects it is composed of are immutable after being constructed and thus thread-safe, so a single schema can be used to validate multiple JSON documents in parallel threads. It is also possible to construct multiple DSJSONSchema instances in separate threads, as long as no thread attempts to register additional schema keywords in the process.

Caveats and limitations

  • Regular expression patterns are validated using NSRegularExpression, which uses ICU implementation, not ECMA 262. Thus, some features like look-behind are not supported.
  • Loading schema references from external locations is not supported. See Schema storage and external references for more details.
  • Schema keywords defined inside a schema reference (object with "$ref" property) are ignored as per JSON Reference specification draft.
  • Validation of following formats is not supported: "uri-template", "json-pointer", "idn-email", "idn-hostname", "iri", "iri-reference", "relative-json-pointer". But they can be used as described in Extending section

License

DSJSONSchemaValidation is available under the MIT license. See the LICENSE file for more info.