December 19th, 2012

API Design Tutorial: Pagination

Layer 7 Pagination Tutorial

At the Layer 7 API Academy, we’ve had a few requests from API designers who are seeking strategies for handling large amounts of data in API responses.  Pagination is the most common method for addressing this scenario. Pagination, which is very common on the Web, allows API architects to conserve resources, improve response times and optimize the user experience. It’s a way of splitting up data into “pages” and is used in just about any API that returns collections of data.

I’ve released a short video tutorial titled Use Pagination in Web API Design to introduce the ins and outs of the interface. This video provides a crash course explaining pagination and outlining how to use it effectively in the design of Web APIs. I couldn’t fit all the implementation considerations I wanted in this six-minute tutorial, so watch out for a follow-up video on the subject.


  1. Which publicly available API’s do you think are good examples of well designed in terms of pagination.

    Comment by Rahul Dighe — March 6, 2013 @ 9:03 am

  2. Hi Rahul. The GitHub API is a good example. It supports different page sizes, a default size as well as hypermedia links to other pages:

    Comment by Ronnie Mitra — March 22, 2013 @ 3:24 am

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