Moya is a very high-level library, enforcing you to create your API services with a strict set of protocol methods. Doing so, you will automatically design API with best practices.

If Moya is high-level, then Alamofire is mid-level, and URLSession is low-level.

You can perfectly live without Moya, and use Alamofire directly.

What Moya does

In essence, Moya is creating this pipeline:

Target is a collection of your API endpoints/service, enforced by implementing TargetType protocol.

Endpoint is a semi-internal structure in Moya that you may or may not deal with.

Request is a Alamofire’s type, which you have to form when making network calls with Alamofire.

Moya simplify your workflow such that make a request from your target’s provider.

let provider = MoyaProvider<MyService>()
provider.request(.allPopularMovies) { result in
    // Similar to handling Alamofire result

Read on to see how MyService (target) is designed.

Designing Target

A target is an enum, with the API as cases.

Then implement the protocol TargetType, and you will have to conform to 7 methods. The example shows for only path, which are the endpoints for each case.

enum MyService: TargetType {

  case allPopularMovies
  case movie(String)

  public var path: String {
    switch self {
    case .allPopularMovies: return "/movies/popular"
    case .movie(let movieId): return "/movies/\(movieId)"


I will not go into details for the other 6 methods, as they are easy to understand from the method names. You can also refer to Moya’s basic example and more.


Instead, I will discuss on unit testing with Moya.

Too much stubbing is bad in testing, but for server-client API, stubbing is good because it gives:

  1. consistent response independent from server
  2. immediate response

Moya is built with testing in mind. But I didn’t like that sampleData is a required method in TargetType protocol.

Because if you stub there, then your production app will contain the stubs.

If stub with JSON files (aka test fixtures), then your app will have to include those files..

My solution is to stub only when creating a mock provider in my unit tests. Therefore in my Target, simply return nothing for sampleData.

var sampleData: Data {
    return Data()

Then in unit test target, set up like this:

class APITests: XCTestCase {

    var provider: MoyaProvider<MyService>!

    override func setUp() {

        // A mock provider with a mocking `endpointClosure` that stub immediately
        provider = MoyaProvider<MyService>(endpointClosure: customEndpointClosure, stubClosure: MoyaProvider.immediatelyStub)

    func customEndpointClosure(_ target: MyService) -> Endpoint {
        return Endpoint(url: URL(target: target).absoluteString,
                        sampleResponseClosure: { .networkResponse(200, target.testSampleData) },
                        method: target.method,
                        task: target.task,
                        httpHeaderFields: target.headers)


The gist is that I create a mock provider using a custom endpointClousure, which in the sampleResponseClosure, I use my own testSampleData, which is implemented with an extension in the unit test.

extension MyService {
    var testSampleData: Data {
        switch self {
        case .allPopularMovies:
            // Returning all-popular-movies.json
            let url = Bundle(for: APITests.self).url(forResource: "all-popular-movies", withExtension: "json")!
            return try! Data(contentsOf: url)

Once again:

  • sampleData - TargetType protocol method which we don’t utilize
  • testSampleData - custom extension in unit test that returns a test fixture JSON




Back to Home