Most Mac apps need to manage data. Data management involves the creation and handling of the various types of data available to a program, including strings, rich text, binary data, dates, collections, property lists, and XML data. Mac apps use data management interfaces to store and access data in local databases, files, folders, and bundles. They also use data management interfaces to receive and respond appropriately to events and other types of messages, such as notifications.

OS X data management interfaces reside in several different frameworks. The principal frameworks are:

Data Management

The following sections describe different areas of data management and the documentation you should read to learn more about them.

Basic Values

Cocoa provides object abstractions for the basic data types you’re likely to use in almost any program, such as strings, dates, numbers, and even binary data. It also provides collection classes and other abstractions to group values together. To learn about these data types, read:

Storing Application Data

Cocoa provides several ways to save your application’s data. The technology you choose depends on how much data you want to save, and what sort of data it is.

Handling Events

In addition to input from mouse and keyboard, OS X OS supports input from tablets and, on a portable Macintosh, multi-touch using a trackpad.

Accessing Contact Information

Address Book is a centralized database for contacts and other personal information. Contact information is important for software such as email and chat programs.

Locating Application Data

OS X provides a number of standard directories where application data might reside. Cocoa provides classes and methods to help you to locate these directories on the filesystem and as resources within your application.