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Implement Pagination in ASP.NET MVC

Updated: Feb 28, 2023


Pagination is a common requirement in web applications that deal with large amounts of data. In ASP.NET MVC, pagination can be implemented using various techniques, such as server-side paging or client-side paging. In this article, we will discuss server-side paging using the built-in support for pagination provided by ASP.NET MVC.


Server-Side Pagination in ASP.NET MVC

Server-side pagination involves dividing the data into smaller chunks (pages) and retrieving only the data for the current page from the server. This approach is suitable for scenarios where the amount of data is large and retrieving all the data at once is not practical.


The basic steps for implementing server-side pagination in ASP.NET MVC are as follows:


Step 1: Retrieve the Data

The first step is to retrieve the data that needs to be paginated from the database. For example, consider the following code that retrieves a list of customers from the database:

public ActionResult Index()
{
    var customers = db.Customers.ToList();
    return View(customers);
}


Step 2: Implement Pagination Logic

The next step is to implement the pagination logic. ASP.NET MVC provides built-in support for pagination through the "PagedList" package. To use this package, first install it using NuGet:

Install-Package PagedList.Mvc

Next, modify the "Index" action to include pagination logic:

public ActionResult Index(int? page)
{
    var customers = db.Customers.ToList();
    int pageSize = 10;
    int pageNumber = (page ?? 1);
    return View(customers.ToPagedList(pageNumber, pageSize));
}

In this code, we first define the page size (number of items per page) and the current page number based on the "page" query string parameter. If the "page" parameter is null, we default to page 1. Finally, we pass the paginated list of customers to the view using the "ToPagedList" method.


Step 3: Display the Pagination Links in the View

The final step is to display the pagination links in the view. To do this, modify the view to use the built-in "Pager" HTML helper provided by the "PagedList.Mvc" package:

@model IPagedList<Customer><table><!-- display the data --></table>

@Html.PagedListPager(Model, page => Url.Action("Index", new { page }))

In this code, we first define the model as an "IPagedList" of customers. Next, we display the data as usual. Finally, we use the "PagedListPager" HTML helper to display the pagination links. The helper takes two parameters: the paginated list and a lambda expression that generates the URL for each page.


Benefits of Pagination

  1. Improved Performance: By dividing the data into smaller chunks (pages) and retrieving only the data for the current page from the server, pagination can significantly improve the performance of your web application. This is especially important when dealing with large amounts of data, as retrieving all the data at once can cause performance issues.

  2. Better User Experience: Pagination can also improve the user experience of your web application by making it easier for users to navigate through the data. Instead of having to scroll through a large amount of data, users can navigate to specific pages and easily find the data they are looking for.

  3. Reduced Bandwidth Usage: Since pagination only retrieves the data for the current page, it can also reduce the amount of data transmitted over the network. This can be especially beneficial for users with limited bandwidth or slow internet connections.


Limitations of Pagination

  1. Complex Implementation: Pagination can be complex to implement, especially when dealing with large amounts of data. You need to handle various scenarios, such as the user navigating to the last page or selecting a specific page number.

  2. Increased Code Complexity: Implementing pagination can increase the code complexity of your web application, as you need to handle various scenarios related to pagination. This can make your code harder to read and maintain.

  3. Limited Searchability: Pagination can limit the searchability of your data, as users can only search within the current page. This can be problematic if users need to search through a large amount of data and cannot find what they are looking for on the current page.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed how to implement server-side pagination in ASP.NET MVC using the built-in support for pagination provided by the "PagedList" package. Server-side pagination is a useful technique for dealing with large amounts of data and can greatly improve the performance and user experience of your web application.

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