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Version: v3.x beta

Paginate Query Results

The limit & offset arguments

The operators limit and offset are used for pagination.

limit specifies the number of rows to retain from the result set and offset determines which slice to retain from the results.

The following are examples of different pagination scenarios:

Limit results

Example: Fetch the first 5 authors from the list of all authors:

Limit results from an offset

Example: Fetch 5 authors from the list of all authors, starting with the 6th one:

Limit results in a nested object

Example: Fetch a list of authors and a list of their first 2 articles:

Keyset cursor based pagination

Cursors are used to traverse across rows of a dataset. They work by returning a pointer to a specific row which can then be used to fetch the next batch of data.

Keyset cursors are a column (or a set of columns) of the data that are used as the cursor. The column(s) used as the cursor must be unique and sequential. This ensures that data is read after a specific row rather than relying on the position of the row in the dataset as done by offset, and that duplicate records are not fetched again.

For example, consider the following query to fetch a list of authors with a where clause used in place of offset:

Here we are fetching authors where the value of id is greater than 5. This will always skip the previously fetched results which would have been ids 1 to 5, ensuring no duplicate results. Column id is acting as the cursor here, unique and sequential.

The choice of cursor columns depends on the order of the expected results i.e. if the query has an order_by clause, the column(s) used in the order_by need to be used as the cursor.

Columns such as id (auto-incrementing integer/big integer) or created_at (timestamp) are commonly used as cursors when an order is not explicit, as they should be unique and sequential.

Where vs Offset

Keyset cursor based pagination using where is more performant than using offset because we can leverage database indexes on the columns that are being used as cursors.

No order_by clause

Because we ran the above example without an order_by clause, it is accidental that we received those results. Running a query without an order_by clause will return results in an arbitrary order.