⛵️ Elegant URL Routing for Swift

Primary LanguageSwiftMIT LicenseMIT


Swift CocoaPods Build Status CodeCov

⛵️ URLNavigator provides an elegant way to navigate through view controllers by URLs. URL patterns can be mapped by using URLNavigator.register(_:_:) function.

URLNavigator can be used for mapping URL patterns with 2 kind of types: URLNavigable and URLOpenHandler. URLNavigable is a type which defines an custom initializer and URLOpenHandler is a closure which can be executed. Both an initializer and a closure receive an URL and placeholder values.

Getting Started

1. Understanding URL Patterns

URL patterns can contain placeholders. Placeholders will be replaced with matching values from URLs. Use < and > to make placeholders. Placeholders can have types: string(default), int, float, and path.

For example, myapp://user/<int:id> matches with:

  • myapp://user/123
  • myapp://user/87

But it doesn't match with:

  • myapp://user/devxoul (expected int)
  • myapp://user/123/posts (different url structure)
  • /user/devxoul (missing scheme)

2. Mapping View Controllers and URL Open Handlers

URLNavigator allows to map view controllers and URL open handlers with URL patterns. Here's an example of mapping URL patterns with view controllers and a closure. Each closures has three parameters: url, values and context.

  • url is an URL that is passed from push() and present().
  • values is a dictionary that contains URL placeholder keys and values.
  • context is a dictionary which contains extra values passed from push(), present() or open().
let navigator = Navigator()

// register view controllers
navigator.register("myapp://user/<int:id>") { url, values, context in
  guard let userID = values["id"] as? Int else { return nil }
  return UserViewController(userID: userID)
navigator.register("myapp://post/<title>") { url, values, context in
  return storyboard.instantiateViewController(withIdentifier: "PostViewController")

// register url open handlers
navigator.handle("myapp://alert") { url, values, context in
  let title = url.queryParameters["title"]
  let message = url.queryParameters["message"]
  presentAlertController(title: title, message: message)
  return true

3. Pushing, Presenting and Opening URLs

URLNavigator can push and present view controllers and execute closures with URLs.

Provide the from parameter to push() to specify the navigation controller which the new view controller will be pushed. Similarly, provide the from parameter to present() to specify the view controller which the new view controller will be presented. If the nil is passed, which is a default value, current application's top most view controller will be used to push or present view controllers.

present() takes an extra parameter: wrap. If a UINavigationController class is specified, the new view controller will be wrapped with the class. Default value is nil.

Navigator.present("myapp://post/54321", wrap: UINavigationController.self)



URLNavigator officially supports CocoaPods only.


pod 'URLNavigator'


You can find an example app here.

  1. Build and install the example app.
  2. Open Safari app
  3. Enter navigator://user/devxoul in the URL bar.
  4. The example app will be launched.

Tips and Tricks

Where to initialize a Navigator instance

  1. Define as a global constant:

    let navigator = Navigator()
    class AppDelegate: UIResponder, UIApplicationDelegate {
      // ...
  2. Register to an IoC container:

    container.register(NavigatorProtocol.self) { _ in Navigator() } // Swinject
    let navigator = container.resolve(NavigatorProtocol.self)!
  3. Inject dependency from a composition root.

Where to Map URLs

I'd prefer using separated URL map file.

struct URLNavigationMap {
  static func initialize(navigator: NavigatorProtocol) {
    navigator.register("myapp://user/<int:id>") { ... }
    navigator.register("myapp://post/<title>") { ... }
    navigator.handle("myapp://alert") { ... }

Then call initialize() at AppDelegate's application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:.

final class AppDelegate: UIResponder, UIApplicationDelegate {
  func application(
    _ application: UIApplication,
    didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [UIApplicationLaunchOptionsKey: Any]?
  ) -> Bool {
    // Navigator
    URLNavigationMap.initialize(navigator: navigator)
    // Do something else...

Implementing AppDelegate Launch Option URL

It's available to open your app with URLs if custom schemes are registered. In order to navigate to view controllers with URLs, you'll have to implement application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions: method.

func application(
  _ application: UIApplication,
  didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [UIApplicationLaunchOptionsKey: Any]?
) -> Bool {
  // ...
  if let url = launchOptions?[.url] as? URL {
    if let opened = navigator.open(url)
    if !opened {
  return true

Implementing AppDelegate Open URL Method

You'll might want to implement custom URL open handler. Here's an example of using URLNavigator with other URL open handlers.

func application(_ application: UIApplication, open url: URL, sourceApplication: String?, annotation: Any) -> Bool {
  // If you're using Facebook SDK
  let fb = FBSDKApplicationDelegate.sharedInstance()
  if fb.application(application, open: url, sourceApplication: sourceApplication, annotation: annotation) {
    return true

  // URLNavigator Handler
  if navigator.open(url) {
    return true

  // URLNavigator View Controller
  if navigator.present(url, wrap: UINavigationController.self) != nil {
    return true

  return false

Passing Extra Values when Pushing, Presenting and Opening

let context: [AnyHashable: Any] = [
  "fromViewController": self
Navigator.push("myapp://user/10", context: context)
Navigator.present("myapp://user/10", context: context)
Navigator.open("myapp://alert?title=Hi", context: context)

Defining custom URL Value Converters

You can define custom URL Value Converters for URL placeholders.

For example, the placeholder <region> is only allowed for the strings ["us-west-1", "ap-northeast-2", "eu-west-3"]. If it doesn't contain any of these, the URL pattern should not match.

Add a custom value converter to the [String: URLValueConverter] dictionary on your instance of Navigator.

navigator.matcher.valueConverters["region"] = { pathComponents, index in
  let allowedRegions = ["us-west-1", "ap-northeast-2", "eu-west-3"]
  if allowedRegions.contains(pathComponents[index]) {
    return pathComponents[index]
  } else {
    return nil

With the code above, for example, myapp://region/<region:_> matches with:

  • myapp://region/us-west-1
  • myapp://region/ap-northeast-2
  • myapp://region/eu-west-3

But it doesn't match with:

  • myapp://region/ca-central-1

For additional information, see the implementation of default URL Value Converters.


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