Building a good authentication system is a lot of work. Instead of starting from scratch, it'd be great if we could build on top of some existing popular service, and allow our users to log in with their existing account there.

Today we'll check out SimpleAuth from Caleb Davenport. It provides an extremely easy-to-use way to implement social sign-in inside our apps. Let's take a look:

SimpleAuth is built around the concept of Providers. In this context, a provider contains all the code needed to talk to individual services like Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Let's add support for signing in with Twitter to an app. We'll start by adding the pod to our Podfile, then run pod install.

pod 'SimpleAuth/Twitter'

Then, we'll need a consumer key and secret from Twitter. We can get these by creating a new app on Twitter's developer portal.

Back in our Application Delegate, we'll configure SimpleAuth's Twitter provider with our info:

SimpleAuth.configuration()["twitter"] = [
  "consumer_key": "12345REDACTED",
  "consumer_secret": "ABCDETOPSECRET"

Finally, we can sign a user in like this:

SimpleAuth.authorize("twitter") { userDictionary, error in
  User(username: userDictionary["nickname"]).persist()

Then we can grab their Twitter username out of a user dictionary. (Which contains keys like uid, image, etc.) SimpleAuth uses these names to abstract away the different attribute names each service uses to represent these values. For example, the field uid always holds a unique user identifier and is present on almost all providers.

SimpleAuth ships with a ton of built-in providers (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Dropbox, Foursquare, etc.). It also makes it very straightforward to create our own providers, just in case we ever need to. Neat!

More info about SimpleAuth can be found at