Use Xcode for server-side development

Description: Discover how you can create, build, and deploy a Swift server app alongside your pre-existing Xcode projects within the same workspace. We'll show you how to create your own local app and test endpoints using Xcode, and explore how you can structure and share code between server and client apps to ease your development process

What building a server application in Swift looks like

Server applications are modeled as Swift packages, here's a simple manifest file:

// swift-tools-version: 5.7

import PackageDescription

let package = Package(
  name: "MyServer",
  platforms: [.macOS("12.0")],
  products: [
    .executable(name: "MyServer", targets: ["MyServer"]),
  dependencies: [
    // 👇🏻 Web framework, helps us structure our code and provides basic utilities like routing
    .package(url: "", .upToNextMajor(from: "4.0.0")),
  targets: [
    // 👇🏻 This executable target maps the server application entry point
      name: "MyServer",
      dependencies: [
        .product(name: "Vapor", package: "vapor")
      name: "MyServerTests",
      dependencies: ["MyServer"]),

Here's what our framework entry point might look like:

import Vapor

public struct MyServer {
  public static func main() async throws {
    let webapp = Application()

    // 👇🏻 our server endpoints
    webapp.get("greet", use: Self.greet)"echo", use: Self.echo)

    // 👇🏻 server bootstrap code (provided by Vapor) 🚀

  static func greet(request: Request) async throws -> String {
    return "Hello from Swift Server"

  static func echo(request: Request) async throws -> String {
    if let body = request.body.string {
      return body
    return ""

To run this server in our local machine via Xcode, we can:

  1. select the MyServer scheme (generated for us by Xcode)
  2. select the My Mac as the destination
  3. hit run

Once the application has launched, we can use Xcode console to examine log messages emitted by the server. In the logs we can also see at which ip/port the server is listening (typically

For this demo code you can test it via terminal

curl; echo
curl --data "Hello from WWDC 2022"; echo

App side (Client side)

To communicate with the server we just created, we can use code similar to:

import Foundation

struct MyServerClient {
  let baseURL = URL(string: "")!

  func greet() async throws -> String {
    let url = baseURL.appendingPathComponent("greet")
    let (data, _) = try await URLRequest(url: url))
    guard let responseBody = String(data: data, encoding: .utf8) else {
      throw Errors.invalidResponseEncoding
    return responseBody

  enum Errors: Error {
    case invalidResponseEncoding

Deploying our server to the cloud

  • There are many cloud providers to choose from: AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, Heroku, and many others
  • most services offer a git push to deploy system
  • to make it possible to just git push to deploy, cloud services use technologies like buildpacks to compile the application remotely and then deploy the binary artifacts to an ephemeral host

Storage options


  • files for static data
    • good if application data is static or changes very slowly and manually
  • iCloud
    • for user-centric data or global datasets (no need dedicated server)

Missing anything? Corrections? Contributions are welcome 😃


Written by

Cihat Gündüz

Cihat Gündüz

📱Indie iOS Developer, 🎬Content Creator for 👨🏻‍💻Developers. 👾Twitch-Streamer & ▶️YouTuber.

Federico Zanetello

Federico Zanetello

Software engineer with a strong passion for well-written code, thought-out composable architectures, automation, tests, and more.