Core Data: Migrating ignores manual mapping model (or fails migration) despite mapping model’s existence

Let’s say you created a somewhat complex migration model. Among other things, let’s say it includes entity migration policies (you know — subclasses of NSEntityMigrationPolicy).

However, Core Data ignores your manual migration model. Why, oh why?

You can try looking into this by clicking on schema name in Xcode 4, picking the “Run” sidebar ‘tab’, picking the “Arguments” tab, and adding 1. (See tech note TN2124.)

Alright, so now you see what the source persistent store’s version hashes are, and what the expected destination store’s version hashes should be. Then you see how Core Data starts migration by telling you its conclusion about what the hashes are (for the second time). Finally, it starts iterating over your manual mapping models (the .xcmappingmodel bundles).

And then you see that it finds your mapping model, picks up on it, then decides the hashes are wrong and ignores it!

“What the…?” you wonder. You compare hashes, and they are listed in different order, but essentially the same.

I can only conclude this is a bug in Core Data (or in the entity editor in Xcode4).

Luckily it’s easy to remedy! Go to the mapping model, pick another source and destination model version, then restore to the correct source and destination model versions. Definitely do make a git commit prior to making this change so you can compare what happened.

Alternatively, an answer on StackOverflow has a different solution which can be applied in case you know what is the version of the original persistent store. It involves manually setting version hashes on the NSEntityMappings inside the NSMappingModel.

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