Using the Tictail API in iOS.


Posted by Billy on March 23, 2016

Developer portal

Create an app

Before you’re able to talk to the Tictail API you have to create an app on

  1. Start by typing in your browser.
  2. Sign up for a tictail account if you don’t already have one.
  3. Go to “My Apps” (
  4. Give it a name, pick an audience, make sure to set “Type” to external and type “tictailtest://auth” as Redirect URI (without “”) (I’ll get back to this later).
  5. Create App.

Gather client id and secret

  1. Go to the details page for your newly created app.
  2. Select the tab called “Credentials”.
  3. Copy-paste both the “Client ID” and “Client Secret” to an empty text file, we’re going to use this soon from our iOS app.


Add a custom URL scheme

  1. Select your project in the left hand pane in Xcode.
  2. Select the tab “info” and scroll down to “URL types”.
  3. Add a new type with the identifier of your choice and URL Schemes “tictailtest” (or what ever you choose when you created your app in the developer portal).


Before we can perform API calls on behalf of a store we need to show the user a login form, handle a redirect URI and exchange a code for a token.

  1. Simply make a url containing the tictail url + oauth path + client id.
  2. Either send the user to Safari for login or open the URL in a web view. I’ll do the former because it’s just one line of code :P


let authUrl = ""
if let url = NSURL(string: signInUrl) {

When the user hit the login button your redirect URI will get called, which in our case is “tictailtest://auth”.

What we want to do next is to handle that redirect by checking if a code is present in the url, and if so, exchange it with an access token.

Handle redirect URI

  1. Implement the following method in your appdelegate:
func application(application: UIApplication, openURL url: NSURL, sourceApplication: String?, annotation: AnyObject) -> Bool
  1. Parse the url using NSURLComponents, check if the path is “auth” and grab the value of the query parameter called “code”.
var variables = Dictionary<String, String>()
	if let components = NSURLComponents(URL: url, resolvingAgainstBaseURL: false),
    let query = components.query {
			for qs in query.componentsSeparatedByString("&") {
	      // Get the parameter name
	      let key = qs.componentsSeparatedByString("=")[0]
	      // Get the parameter value
	      var value = qs.componentsSeparatedByString("=")[1]
				value = value.stringByReplacingOccurrencesOfString("+", withString: " ")            
	   		if let decodedValue = value.stringByRemovingPercentEncoding {
	   			variables[key] = decodedValue

Trade code for access token

We’re almost there! This is the last step before we’ll have a token that we can use to call the API.

  1. Create a NSURLRequest with the URL and the following POST parameters: “client_id”,”client_secret”,”code” (the code you got in the previous paragraph),”grant_type” (should always be “authorization_code”).
  2. Parse the response JSON and look for the keys “access_token” and “expires_in” and store them somewhere safe. (from You should treat the access_token as you would with a password, keep it safe and never share it, it was given to you in trust.)

Using the access token

Create a NSURLRequest like you normally would and add the header authorization like this:

let newRequest = NSMutableURLRequest(URL: url)
newRequest.addValue("Bearer \(accessToken)", forHTTPHeaderField: "Authorization")


There you go! Now you’re ready to call the Tictail API from your iOS app!