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SAP Leonardo Machine Learning and the iOS SDK

By Robin van het Hof

In this How-To tutorial, you will test SAP Leonardo's Machine Learning capabilities exposed through SAP API Hub and implement these in a native iOS application build with the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS.

How-To Details

In this How-To tutorial, you will test SAP Leonardo’s Machine Learning capabilities exposed through SAP API Hub and implement these in a native iOS application build with the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS. After you have finished the tutorial, you will have an app which allows you to take a picture with the camera, or choose an image from the Photos Library. This image will be sent to SAP Leonardo’s “Image Classification” Machine Learning API which is available for testing on SAP API Hub. The response will be a list of classifications for the submitted image, which you could use for further processing.

Step 1: Create Xcode application

Open Xcode and create a new project. Select Single View Application from the dialog and click Next.

New project

In the next screen, enter the following properties:

Field Value
Product Name Demo
Team <Select your team>
Organization Name
Organization Identifier

Click Next to continue.

New project

Specify a location to store your project and click Finish.

New project

Your project is now generated.

Step 2: Add SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS framework files

In order to utilize the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS capabilities, you need to include these to your Xcode project.

Using Finder, navigate to the location of the SDK’s framework files at ./<SDK Location>/Frameworks/Release-fat.

Select the following framework files:

  • SAPCommon.framework
  • SAPFiori.framework
  • SAPFoundation.framework
Add framework files

In Xcode, select the Demo project file at the root of the Project navigator and select the General tab. Scroll down to the Embedded Binaries panel.

Drag the 3 selected SDK framework files onto the Embedded Binaries panel.

Add framework files

The relevant SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS framework files are now included in the project.

Step 3: Add Table View Controller

Open Main.storyboard. Remove the existing View Controller entirely, and replace it with a Navigation Controller by dragging it from the Object library in the lower-right corner onto the Storyboard.

With the Navigation Controller selected, set the following attributes in the Attributes inspector:

Attribute Value
Shows Toolbar checked
Is Initial View Controller checked
Add table view

This ensures the view will be shown when the app is loaded, and a bottom toolbar is visible.

Select Navigation Item in the Table View Controller and set the title to Image Classifier Demo:

Add table view

From the Object library, drag a Bar Button Item onto the toolbar and set the name to Library.

Next, drag a Flexible Space Bar Button Item next to the Bar Button Item.

Finally, drag another Bar Button Item onto the toolbar to the right of the Flexible Space Bar Button Item and set the name to Camera.

The Table View Controller and its toolbar should now look like this:

Add table view
Step 4: Create Table View Controller custom class

Right-click the Demo folder inside your Xcode project, and from the context menu, select New File…:

Add class

From the dialog, select Cocoa Touch Class and click Next.

Add class

In the next screen, set the following properties:

Attribute Value
Class ImageClassifierTVC
Subclass of UITableViewController

Click Next when done.

Add class

Review the location the class will be stored, and click Create.

Add class
Step 5: Link Table View Controller to custom class

In the Storyboard, select the Table View Controller. In the Identity inspector, change the Class to the custom class you created in the previous step:

Add class
Step 6: Create toolbar button actions

With the Table View Controller still selected, click on the Show Assistant editor button. The ImageClassifierTVC file is opened next to the Storyboard.

Replace the existing import statement with the following import statements:

import Photos
import Foundation
import SAPFoundation
import SAPCommon
import SAPFiori

In the Storyboard, Ctrl-click the Library button, and drag it just above the first function viewDidLoad(). In the dialog, set the following properties:

Attribute Value
Connection Action
Name photoFromLibrary

Click Connect when done.

Add action

Next, Ctrl-click the Camera button, and drag it just below the action handler you just created. In the dialog, set the following properties:

Attribute Value
Connection Action
Name photoFromCamera

Click Connect when done.

The first part of the custom class should now look like this:

import Photos
import Foundation
import SAPFoundation
import SAPCommon
import SAPFiori

class ImageClassifierTVC: UITableViewController {

    @IBAction func photoFromLibrary(_ sender: Any) {

    @IBAction func photoFromCamera(_ sender: Any) {

    override func viewDidLoad() {

Step 7: Allow Camera and Photos Library usage

In order for the app to use the Camera and the Photos Library, it needs to ask permission first.

Open the info.plist file, and click the Plus sign next to Information Property List. From the drop-down, select Privacy - Photo Library Usage Description.

Set the value to $(PRODUCT_NAME) needs to use your Photos Library.

Again, click the Plus sign next to Information Property List. From the drop-down, select Privacy - Camera Usage Description.

Set the value to $(PRODUCT_NAME) needs to use your Camera.

Your info.plist file should now look like this:

Add action
Step 8: Explore the SAP API Hub

Open a browser to


Click on the tile APIs. A page with featured and latest APIs are displayed.


Click on the tile SAP Leonardo ML - Functional Services. Switch to the tab Artifacts. Here you see a list of all the functional SAP Leonardo Machine Learning APIs. For this tutorial, you are going to use the Image Classification API.


If you click the Image Classification API link, you navigate to a page displaying the available REST APIs. If you expand the /inference_sync service, you see extensive documentation how the request should look, the possible responses, and you can even test the service from within the API Hub.


To the right of the service, there’s a Generate Code link. Click on that link, and switch to the Swift tab. Here you see boilerplate code which you can use in your own application.


The generated boilerplate code uses generic Swift code, and not SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS optimized code. Although the generated code is fairly simple to use as-is in Swift 2.0 projects, this tutorial uses the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS built on Swift 3.1 and as such the generated code needs to be changed significantly in your project.


If you test the service, you will receive a response like the following:

  "_id": "9e674a12-07a9-4535-9a33-ba0f77a4547e",
  "predictions": [
      "name": "ocean-cliff-5862429.jpg",
      "results": [
          "label": "cliff",
          "score": 0.68992
          "label": "promontory",
          "score": 0.280181
          "label": "seashore",
          "score": 0.020914
          "label": "breakwater",
          "score": 0.003855
          "label": "dam",
          "score": 0.00275
  "processed_time": "Fri, 26 May 2017 13:53:22 GMT",
  "request": {
    "files": [
    "options": {},
    "tenantName": "imgclassif-tech-user",
    "texts": []
  "status": "DONE",
  "tenantName": "imgclassif-tech-user"

In your app, you’re only interested in the results array containing objects with the classification and score. With this information, you can now build your app’s logic.

Step 9: Change class delegates and add fields

To be able to navigate from your app to the Camera or Photo Library, your class needs to implement two extra delegates. Change the class definition to:

class ImageClassifierTVC: UITableViewController,
                          UINavigationControllerDelegate {

Below the class definition, add the following fields:

var classifications: [NSDictionary] = [NSDictionary]( )
let picker = UIImagePickerController()
private let appDelegate = UIApplication.shared.delegate as! AppDelegate
private let logger: Logger = Logger.shared(named: "ImageClassifierTVC")

Variable classifications will hold the returned classifications for the submitted image; constant picker holds a reference to the image picker, and constant logger holds a reference to the Logger class in SAPCommon framework.

However, for the delegates and the logger to work, they need to be initialized first. Change the ImageClassifierTVC class viewDidLoad() method to the following:

override func viewDidLoad() {

    Logger.root.logLevel =

    picker.delegate = self

This sets the initial logger level to info, and assigns the image picker delegate to the class.

Step 10: Add FUIObjectTableViewCell to table

To display the returned image classifications in the table view, you will use the FUIObjectTableViewCell control.

Ope the storyboard, and from the Object library, drag a Table View Cell onto the Table View Controller.

In the Identity inspector, set the Table View Cell’s Class and Module to the following:

Attribute Value
Class FUIObjectTableViewCell
Module SAPFiori

Switch to the Attributes inspector and set the Identifier to classificationCell:

Step 11: Implement table cell logic

First, change the numberOfSections method to return 1 section:

override func numberOfSections(in tableView: UITableView) -> Int {
    return 1

Then, replace the tableView(tableView: section:) method to the following:

override func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, numberOfRowsInSection section: Int) -> Int {
    let numRows = classifications.count

    if numRows == 0 {
        let noDataLabel: UILabel  = UILabel(frame: CGRect(x: 0, y: 0, width: tableView.bounds.size.width - 50, height: tableView.bounds.size.height))
        noDataLabel.text          = "Select an image or take a photo"
        noDataLabel.textColor     = UIColor.lightGray

        noDataLabel.textAlignment = .center
        tableView.backgroundView  = noDataLabel
    else {
        tableView.backgroundView = nil
    return numRows

This method returns the number of items in the classifications array. In addition, if the classifications array contains no items, a placeholder text is displayed.

Step 12: Implement Camera and Photo Library usage

Both @IBActions for the Camera and Photo Library toolbar buttons are not yet implemented. Implement them so they resemble the following:

@IBAction func photoFromLibrary(_ sender: Any) {
    picker.allowsEditing = false
    picker.sourceType = .photoLibrary
    picker.mediaTypes = UIImagePickerController.availableMediaTypes(for: .photoLibrary)!
    present(picker, animated: true, completion: nil)

@IBAction func photoFromCamera(_ sender: Any) {
    if UIImagePickerController.isSourceTypeAvailable(.camera) {
        picker.allowsEditing = false
        picker.sourceType =
        picker.cameraCaptureMode = .photo
        picker.modalPresentationStyle = .fullScreen
        present(picker,animated: true,completion: nil)
    } else {

Both actions call the view controller’s present method. However, in order for the Camera or Photo Library to be shown, a delegate function needs to be implemented. Add the following delegate to the class:

//MARK: - Delegates
func imagePickerController(_ picker: UIImagePickerController, didFinishPickingMediaWithInfo info: [String : Any]) {
    var  chosenImage = UIImage()
    var filename = "<unknown>"

    chosenImage = info[UIImagePickerControllerOriginalImage] as! UIImage

    if let imageURL = info[UIImagePickerControllerReferenceURL] as? URL {
        let result = PHAsset.fetchAssets(withALAssetURLs: [imageURL], options: nil)
        let asset = result.firstObject
        filename = asset?.value(forKey: "filename") as! String
    else {
        filename = String(describing: chosenImage.hashValue)

    // API Hub doesn't allow images submitted over 1MB in size.
    // Resizing the image to a width of 600px should suffice.
    let resizedImage = chosenImage.resized(toWidth: 600.0)

    self.sendImage(image: resizedImage!, filename: "\(filename).jpg")

    dismiss(animated:true, completion: nil)


func imagePickerControllerDidCancel(_ picker: UIImagePickerController) {
    dismiss(animated: true, completion: nil)

Right now, you will see a few errors indicating undefined methods or functions.

Add the following private functions:

//MARK: - Private methods
private func noCamera(){
    let alertVC = UIAlertController(
        title: "No Camera",
        message: "Sorry, this device has no camera",
        preferredStyle: .alert)

    let okAction = UIAlertAction(
        title: "OK",
        handler: nil)


        animated: true,
        completion: nil)

private func sendImage(image: UIImage, filename: String) {
    // To be implemented

At the very bottom of the file, add the following extension:

extension UIImage {
    func resized(toWidth width: CGFloat) -> UIImage? {
        let canvasSize = CGSize(width: width, height: CGFloat(ceil(width/size.width * size.height)))
        UIGraphicsBeginImageContextWithOptions(canvasSize, false, scale)
        defer { UIGraphicsEndImageContext() }
        draw(in: CGRect(origin: .zero, size: canvasSize))
        return UIGraphicsGetImageFromCurrentImageContext()

This resizes any image from the camera or the Photo Library to width of 600 pixels, and scales the height proportionally. Since the API Hub does not allow files exceeding 1 megabyte, in this particular case resizing the image to a smaller size is preferred over increasing the image compression.

If you now build run the app on a physical iOS device – it does not work on the Simulator since it has no camera – your app should look like this:


If you now click the Camera button, you are asked to give the app permission to use the camera:


Click OK, and take a picture. Click Use Photo, and the app navigates back to the initial screen. Nothing happens further, because you did not yet implemented the SAP Leonardo Image Classification API from the SAP API Hub yet. You will fix that in the next steps.

Step 13: Implement SAP Leonardo Image Classification API

Take a look at the generated code from the SAP API Hub:


An HTTP request is made with a couple of HTTP headers to the REST API endpoint, and the returned response is then printed to the console as plain text. However, the generated code is written in Swift 2.0, uses the core Foundation instead of the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS, and ideally you want the response in JSON format, not plain text.

Implement the following in the sendImage(image:, filename:) class:

private func sendImage(image: UIImage, filename: String) {
    //adding request headers
    let boundary = "Boundary-\(UUID().uuidString)"
    let headers = [
        "Accept": "application/json",
        "APIKey": "<Your API Hub key here>",
        "Content-Type": "multipart/form-data; boundary=\(boundary)"

    var request = URLRequest(url: URL(string: "")!,
                                      cachePolicy: .useProtocolCachePolicy,
                                      timeoutInterval: 10.0)
    //setting request method
    request.httpMethod = "POST"
    request.allHTTPHeaderFields = headers
    request.httpBody = self.createBody(
        boundary: boundary,
        data: UIImageJPEGRepresentation(image, 0.8)!,
        mimeType: "image/jpg",
        filename: filename)

    let session = SAPURLSession()

    //sending request
    let dataTask = session.dataTask(with: request) { data, response, error in
        guard let data = data, error == nil else {
            // check for fundamental networking error

        do {
            let json = try JSONSerialization.jsonObject(with: data, options: .mutableContainers) as? AnyObject

            if let parseJSON = json {
      "response :\(parseJSON)")
                let rootKey = parseJSON.allKeys[0]
                let dictArray = parseJSON[rootKey] as! [NSDictionary]

                // retrieve 'results' node from JSON and store results in classifications field
                self.classifications = dictArray[0].value(forKey: "results") as! [NSDictionary]

            DispatchQueue.main.async(execute: { () -> Void in
        catch let error as NSError {
            self.logger.error("error : \(error)")


In this method, first the required HTTP headers are created. The image is sent as multipart/form-data, and the response is retrieved in JSON format. The APIKey header expects your personal API Hub key, which can be retrieved from the API Hub by clicking the key icon in the top-right of the REST API page.

Because the request is sent as multipart/form-data, a boundary string needs to be constructed which will be used in the request body. This HTTP body is populated in method createBody.

The REST API URL is then set in the request and an URL session is created. After a successful response, the returned data is serialized to a JSON object. The classifications array will then be populated with the JSON object’s results node, and the table view is reloaded.

The above code isn’t written in the most beautiful way (no JSON object mapping to a Swift class, for instance) but this way it makes it easier to understand what’s going on in this method.


Finally, add the missing private method createBody:

private func createBody(
    boundary: String,
    data: Data,
    mimeType: String,
    filename: String) -> Data {
    var body = Data()

    let boundaryPrefix = "--\(boundary)\r\n"

    body.append(Data("Content-Disposition: form-data; name=\"files\"; filename=\"\(filename)\"\r\n".utf8))
    body.append(Data("Content-Type: \(mimeType)\r\n\r\n".utf8))

    return body as Data
Step 14: Bind response to FUIObjectTableViewCell

The one thing missing is displaying the results from the response into the FUIObjectTableViewCell objects.

Replace the content of method tableView(tableView:, indexPath:) with the following:

override func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, cellForRowAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> UITableViewCell {
    let item = classifications[indexPath.row]

    let cell = tableView.dequeueReusableCell(withIdentifier: "classificationCell", for: indexPath) as! FUIObjectTableViewCell

    cell.headlineText   = item.value(forKey: "label") as? String
    cell.footnoteText   = "Confidence: \(String(describing: Int(round(Double(((item.value(forKey: "score") as! NSNumber) as! Double) * 100))))) %"

    return cell

In this method, the FUIObjectTableViewCell with identifier classificationCell you created in step 10 is now populated with the value label as its classification, and the score is displayed as a percentage, indicating the confidence the classification matches the submitted image.

Because the table cell is now an SAP Fiori Object Cell, the table view’s row height needs to be adjusted. In method viewDidLoad(), add the following lines:

self.preferredContentSize = CGSize(width: 320, height: 480)

tableView.estimatedRowHeight = 98
tableView.rowHeight = UITableViewAutomaticDimension
tableView.backgroundColor = UIColor.preferredFioriColor(forStyle: .backgroundBase)
tableView.separatorStyle = .none

This ensures the table cell is rendered correctly.

Step 15: Build and run the application

If you now build and run the application, everything should work end to end now. Take a picture of a single item, for instance these sunglasses:


If you now click the Use Photo button, the image is sent to the SAP API Hub REST endpoint, and if all goes well, you should see the JSON response in the console, and the table view is now populated with FUIObjectTableViewCell objects displaying the matching classifications, as well as the score as a confidence in percentage:


Next Steps

Updated 09/13/2017

Time to Complete

45 Min.



Next Steps

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