Apple adds server-to-server web service requests to CloudKit

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Apple's CloudKit framework for automating apps' storage and retrieval of user data "in the cloud" has learned a new trick. Developers can now read and write data in their app's public database from a server-side process or script.

Apple launched CloudKit in 2014 to provide third party app developers with easy to use, secure, scalable iCloud data storage for their users. It used the technology to launch its own new Photos app, which automatically stores users' photos in an iCloud database that keeps images in sync between devices.

Last summer, the company added support for accessing CloudKit app data via JavaScript and Web Services, enabling developers to build websites that present the same data to users who sign in with their Apple ID. Apple used this feature to develop a iCloud web client for Notes, presenting a web view of the same content users see when they open their Notes app on iOS 9 or a Mac.

Source: Apple

Apple has now introduced the ability for developers to access their iCloud data via an automated server-to-server request, making it possible to build apps and web sites that not only store data, but can update, process or otherwise editor or modify user data stored on Apple's servers.

An app like Photos, for example, could offer cloud-based image processing, while an app like Notes could update users' documents with live data or perform scripted server-side editing (such as optical character recognition in images).

The new functionality makes CloudKit a more flexible and powerful tool for app and web developers who want to leverage cloud-based storage and processing without rolling their own server-side implementation, enabling them to focus on client app features instead.