All services should support pagination from the start, even though the dataset is small. It is harder to add it later on as it would introduce breaking changes to the service interface.

Pagination should be implemented using Cursor as a page reference. Cursor pagination solves the missing or duplication of data problems that the typical offset method has. Cursor pagination returns a cursor in the response, which is a pointer to a specific item in the dataset. This pointer needs to be based on an unique sequential field (or fields).

When implementing a cursor pagination the response object should follow this interface:

interface GetReponse {
  data: T[]
  pageInfo: {
    hasPreviousPage?: boolean
    hasNextPage: boolean
    startCursor?: string
    endCursor: string
  totalCount: number

The name of the data fields is arbitrary, and the developer is free to choose more descriptive name like in the following example:

    { "id": "1001", "name": "Einar"},
    { "id": "1002", "name": "Erlendur"},
    { "id": "1003", "name": "Valdimar"},
  "pageInfo": {
    "hasNextPage": true,
    "hasPreviousPage": false,
    "startCursor": "aWQ6MTAwMQ=="
    "endCursor": "aWQ6MTAwMw==",
  "totalCount": 25

The totalCount field indicates how many total items are available on the server. The PageInfo object is described in the following section.


The PageInfo contains details about the pagination. It should follow the interface:

interface PageInfo {
  hasPreviousPage?: boolean
  hasNextPage: boolean
  startCursor?: string
  endCursor: string

The hasPreviousPage and startCursor are optional but should be provided. The hasPreviousPage and hasNextPage are boolean flags to indicate if there exists more items before or after the current set of data received. The startCursor and endCursor are Base64 encoded strings. The client uses these values in following request to get previous or next page, see query parameters.

Pagination Query parameters

For an API to support pagination it needs to support the following query parameters:

  • limit - Limits the number of results in a request. The server should have a default value for this field.

  • before - The client provides the value of startCursor from the previous response pageInfo to query the previous page of limit number of data items.

  • after - The client provides the value of endCursor from the previous response to query the next page of limit number of data items.

The client only sends either before or after fields in a single request indicating if it wants the previous or next page of data items.

Monorepo library monorepo provides a library which contains DTO object for PageInfo and Pagination query objects. The library also contains an extension for paginated Sequelize queries.

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