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Load and display paged data

The Paging library provides powerful capabilities for loading and displaying paged data from a larger dataset. This guide demonstrates how to use the Paging library to set up a stream of paged data from a network data source and display it in a RecyclerView.

Define a data source

The first step is to define a PagingSource implementation to identify the data source. The PagingSource API class includes the load() method, which you must override to indicate how to retrieve paged data from the corresponding data source.

Use the PagingSource class directly to use Kotlin coroutines for async loading. The Paging library also provides classes to support other async frameworks:

Select key and value types

PagingSource<Key, Value> has two type parameters: Key and Value. The key defines the identifier used to load the data, and the value is the type of the data itself. For example, if you load pages of User objects from the network by passing Int page numbers to Retrofit, you would select Int as the Key type and User as the Value type.

Define the PagingSource

The following example implements a PagingSource that loads pages of items by page number. The Key type is Int and the Value type is User.

Kotlin

class ExamplePagingSource(
    val backend: ExampleBackendService,
    val query: String
) : PagingSource<Int, User>() {
  override suspend fun load(
    params: LoadParams<Int>
  ): LoadResult<Int, User> {
    try {
      // Start refresh at page 1 if undefined.
      val nextPageNumber = params.key ?: 1
      val response = backend.searchUsers(query, nextPageNumber)
      return LoadResult.Page(
        data = response.users,
        prevKey = null, // Only paging forward.
        nextKey = response.nextPageNumber
      )
    } catch (e: Exception) {
      // Handle errors in this block and return LoadResult.Error if it is an
      // expected error (such as a network failure).
    }
  }
}

Java

class ExamplePagingSource extends RxPagingSource<Integer, User> {
  @NonNull
  private ExampleBackendService mBackend;
  @NonNull
  private String mQuery;

  ExamplePagingSource(@NonNull ExampleBackendService backend,
    @NonNull String query) {
    mBackend = backend;
    mQuery = query;
  }

  @NotNull
  @Override
  public Single<LoadResult<Integer, User>> loadSingle(
    @NotNull LoadParams<Integer> params) {
    // Start refresh at page 1 if undefined.
    Integer nextPageNumber = params.getKey();
    if (nextPageNumber == null) {
      nextPageNumber = 1;
    }

    return mBackend.searchUsers(mQuery, nextPageNumber)
      .subscribeOn(Schedulers.io())
      .map(this::toLoadResult)
      .onErrorReturn(LoadResult.Error::new);
  }

  private LoadResult<Integer, User> toLoadResult(
    @NonNull SearchUsersResponse response) {
    return new LoadResult.Page<>(
      response.getUsers(),
      null, // Only paging forward.
      response.getNextPageNumber(),
      LoadResult.Page.COUNT_UNDEFINED,
      LoadResult.Page.COUNT_UNDEFINED);
  }
}

Java

class ExamplePagingSource extends ListenableFuturePagingSource<Integer, User> {
  @NonNull
  private ExampleBackendService mBackend;
  @NonNull
  private String mQuery;
  @NonNull
  private Executor mBgExecutor;

  ExamplePagingSource(
    @NonNull ExampleBackendService backend,
    @NonNull String query, @NonNull Executor bgExecutor) {
    mBackend = backend;
    mQuery = query;
    mBgExecutor = bgExecutor;
  }

  @NotNull
  @Override
  public ListenableFuture<LoadResult<Integer, User>> loadFuture(
    @NotNull LoadParams<Integer> params) {
    // Start refresh at page 1 if undefined.
    Integer nextPageNumber = params.getKey();
    if (nextPageNumber == null) {
      nextPageNumber = 1;
    }


    ListenableFuture<LoadResult<Integer, User>> pageFuture = Futures.transform(
      mBackend.searchUsers(mQuery, nextPageNumber),
      this::toLoadResult, mBgExecutor);

    ListenableFuture<LoadResult<Integer, User>> partialLoadResultFuture = Futures.catching(
      pageFuture, HttpException.class,
      LoadResult.Error::new, mBgExecutor);

    return Futures.catching(partialLoadResultFuture,
      IOException.class, LoadResult.Error::new, mBgExecutor);
  }

  private LoadResult<Integer, User> toLoadResult(
    @NonNull SearchUsersResponse response) {
    return new LoadResult.Page<>(
      response.getUsers(),
      null, // Only paging forward.
      response.getNextPageNumber(),
      LoadResult.Page.COUNT_UNDEFINED,
      LoadResult.Page.COUNT_UNDEFINED);
  }
}

A typical PagingSource implementation passes parameters provided in its constructor to the load() method to load appropriate data for a query. In the example above, those parameters are:

  • backend: An instance of the backend service that provides the data.
  • query: The search query to send to the service indicated by backend.

The LoadParams object contains information about the load operation to be performed. This includes the key to be loaded and the number of items to be loaded.

The LoadResult object contains the result of the load operation. LoadResult is a sealed class that takes one of two forms, depending on whether the load() call succeeded:

  • If the load is successful, return a LoadResult.Page object.
  • If the load is not successful, return a LoadResult.Error object.

Figure 1 illustrates how the load() function in this example receives the key for each load and provides the key for the subsequent load.

On each load() call, the ExamplePagingSource takes in the current key
    and returns the next key to load.
Figure 1. Diagram showing how load() uses and updates the key.

Handle errors

Requests to load data can fail for a number of reasons, especially when loading over network. Report errors encountered during loading by returning a LoadResult.Error object from the load() method.

For example, you can catch and report loading errors in ExamplePagingSource from the previous example by adding the following to the load() method:

Kotlin

catch (e: IOException) {
  // IOException for network failures.
  return LoadResult.Error(e)
} catch (e: HttpException) {
  // HttpException for any non-2xx HTTP status codes.
  return LoadResult.Error(e)
}

Java

return backend.searchUsers(searchTerm, nextPageNumber)
  .subscribeOn(Schedulers.io())
  .map(this::toLoadResult)
  .onErrorReturn(LoadResult.Error::new);

Java

ListenableFuture<LoadResult<Integer, User>> pageFuture = Futures.transform(
  backend.searchUsers(query, nextPageNumber), this::toLoadResult,
  bgExecutor);

ListenableFuture<LoadResult<Integer, User>> partialLoadResultFuture = Futures.catching(
  pageFuture, HttpException.class, LoadResult.Error::new,
  bgExecutor);

return Futures.catching(partialLoadResultFuture,
  IOException.class, LoadResult.Error::new, bgExecutor);

For more information on handling Retrofit errors, see the samples in the PagingSource API reference.

PagingSource collects and delivers LoadResult.Error objects to the UI so that you can act upon them. For more information on exposing the loading state in the UI, see Display the loading state.

Set up a stream of PagingData

Next, you need a stream of paged data from the PagingSource implementation. Typically, you should set up the data stream in your ViewModel. The Pager class provides methods that expose a reactive stream of PagingData objects from a PagingSource. The Paging library supports using several stream types, including Flow, LiveData, and the Flowable and Observable types from RxJava.

When you create a Pager instance to set up your reactive stream, you must provide the instance with a PagingConfig configuration object and a function that tells Pager how to get an instance of your PagingSource implementation:

Kotlin

val flow = Pager(
  // Configure how data is loaded by passing additional properties to
  // PagingConfig, such as prefetchDistance.
  PagingConfig(pageSize = 20)
) {
  ExamplePagingSource(backend, query)
}.flow
  .cachedIn(viewModelScope)

Java

// CoroutineScope helper provided by the lifecycle-viewmodel-ktx artifact.
CoroutineScope viewModelScope = ViewModelKt.getViewModelScope(viewModel);
Pager<Integer, User> pager = Pager<>(
  new PagingConfig(/* pageSize = */ 20),
  () -> ExamplePagingSource(backend, query));

Flowable<PagingData<User>> flowable = PagingRx.getFlowable(pager);
PagingRx.cachedIn(flowable, viewModelScope);

Java

// CoroutineScope helper provided by the lifecycle-viewmodel-ktx artifact.
CoroutineScope viewModelScope = ViewModelKt.getViewModelScope(viewModel);
Pager<Integer, User> pager = Pager<>(
  new PagingConfig(/* pageSize = */ 20),
  () -> ExamplePagingSource(backend, query));

PagingLiveData.cachedIn(PagingLiveData.getLiveData(pager), viewModelScope);

The cachedIn() operator makes the data stream shareable and caches the loaded data with the provided CoroutineScope. This example uses the viewModelScope provided by the Lifecycle lifecycle-viewmodel-ktx artifact.

The Pager object calls the load() method from the PagingSource object, providing it with the LoadParams object and receiving the LoadResult object in return.

Define a RecyclerView adapter

You also need to set up an adapter to receive the data into your RecyclerView list. The Paging library provides the PagingDataAdapter class for this purpose.

Define a class that extends PagingDataAdapter. In the example, UserAdapter extends PagingDataAdapter to provide a RecyclerView adapter for list items of type User and using UserViewHolder as a view holder:

Kotlin

class UserAdapter(diffCallback: DiffUtil.ItemCallback<User>) :
  PagingDataAdapter<User, UserViewHolder>(diffCallback) {
  override fun onCreateViewHolder(
    parent: ViewGroup,
    viewType: Int
  ): UserViewHolder {
    return UserViewHolder(parent)
  }

  override fun onBindViewHolder(holder: UserViewHolder, position: Int) {
    val item = getItem(position)
    // Note that item may be null. ViewHolder must support binding a
    // null item as a placeholder.
    holder.bind(item)
  }
}

Java

class UserAdapter extends PagingDataAdapter<User, UserViewHolder> {
  UserAdapter(@NotNull DiffUtil.ItemCallback<User> diffCallback) {
    super(diffCallback);
  }

  @NonNull
  @Override
  public UserViewHolder onCreateViewHolder(@NonNull ViewGroup parent, int viewType) {
    return new UserViewHolder(parent);
  }

  @Override
  public void onBindViewHolder(@NonNull UserViewHolder holder, int position) {
    User item = getItem(position);
    // Note that item may be null. ViewHolder must support binding a
    // null item as a placeholder.
    holder.bind(item);
  }
}

Java

class UserAdapter extends PagingDataAdapter<User, UserViewHolder> {
  UserAdapter(@NotNull DiffUtil.ItemCallback<User> diffCallback) {
    super(diffCallback);
  }

  @NonNull
  @Override
  public UserViewHolder onCreateViewHolder(@NonNull ViewGroup parent, int viewType) {
    return new UserViewHolder(parent);
  }

  @Override
  public void onBindViewHolder(@NonNull UserViewHolder holder, int position) {
    User item = getItem(position);
    // Note that item may be null. ViewHolder must support binding a
    // null item as a placeholder.
    holder.bind(item);
  }
}

Your adapter must also define the onCreateViewHolder() and onBindViewHolder() methods and specify a DiffUtil.ItemCallback. This works the same as it normally does when defining RecyclerView list adapters:

Kotlin

object UserComparator : DiffUtil.ItemCallback<User>() {
  override fun areItemsTheSame(oldItem: User, newItem: User): Boolean {
    // Id is unique.
    return oldItem.id == newItem.id
  }

  override fun areContentsTheSame(oldItem: User, newItem: User): Boolean {
    return oldItem == newItem
  }
}

Java

class UserComparator extends DiffUtil.ItemCallback<User> {
  @Override
  public boolean areItemsTheSame(@NonNull User oldItem,
    @NonNull User newItem) {
    // Id is unique.
    return oldItem.id.equals(newItem.id);
  }

  @Override
  public boolean areContentsTheSame(@NonNull User oldItem,
    @NonNull User newItem) {
    return oldItem.equals(newItem);
  }
}

Java

class UserComparator extends DiffUtil.ItemCallback<User> {
  @Override
  public boolean areItemsTheSame(@NonNull User oldItem,
    @NonNull User newItem) {
    // Id is unique.
    return oldItem.id.equals(newItem.id);
  }

  @Override
  public boolean areContentsTheSame(@NonNull User oldItem,
    @NonNull User newItem) {
    return oldItem.equals(newItem);
  }
}

Display the paged data in your UI

Now that you have defined a PagingSource, created a way for your app to generate a stream of PagingData, and defined a PagingDataAdapter, you are ready to connect these elements together and display paged data in your activity.

Perform the following steps in your activity's onCreate or fragment's onViewCreated method:

  1. Create an instance of your PagingDataAdapter class.
  2. Pass the PagingDataAdapter instance to the RecyclerView list that you want to display your paged data.
  3. Observe the PagingData stream, and pass each generated value to your adapter's submitData() method.

Kotlin

val viewModel by viewModels<ExampleViewModel>()

val pagingAdapter = UserAdapter(UserComparator)
val recyclerView = findViewById<RecyclerView>(R.id.recycler_view)
recyclerView.adapter = pagingAdapter

// Activities can use lifecycleScope directly, but Fragments should instead use
// viewLifecycleOwner.lifecycleScope.
lifecycleScope.launch {
  viewModel.flow.collectLatest { pagingData ->
    pagingAdapter.submitData(pagingData)
  }
}

Java

ExampleViewModel viewModel = new ViewModelProvider(this)
  .get(ExampleViewModel.class);

UserAdapter pagingAdapter = new UserAdapter(new UserComparator());
RecyclerView recyclerView = findViewById<RecyclerView>(
  R.id.recycler_view);
recyclerView.adapter = pagingAdapter

viewModel.flowable
  // Using AutoDispose to handle subscription lifecycle.
  // See: https://github.com/uber/AutoDispose
  .to(autoDisposable(AndroidLifecycleScopeProvider.from(this)))
  .subscribe(pagingData -> pagingAdapter.submitData(lifecycle, pagingData));

Java

ExampleViewModel viewModel = new ViewModelProvider(this)
  .get(ExampleViewModel.class);

UserAdapter pagingAdapter = new UserAdapter(new UserComparator());
RecyclerView recyclerView = findViewById<RecyclerView>(
  R.id.recycler_view);
recyclerView.adapter = pagingAdapter

// Activities can use getLifecycle() directly, but Fragments should instead use
// getViewLifecycleOwner().getLifecycle().
viewModel.liveData.observe(this, pagingData ->
  pagingAdapter.submitData(getLifecycle(), pagingData));

The RecyclerView list now displays the paged data from the data source and automatically loads another page when necessary.

Display the loading state

The Paging library exposes the loading state for use in the UI through the LoadState object. LoadState takes one of three forms depending on the current loading state:

  • If there is no active load operation and no errors, then LoadState is a LoadState.NotLoading object.
  • If there is an active load operation, then LoadState is a LoadState.Loading object.
  • If there is an error, then LoadState is a LoadState.Error object.

There are two ways to use LoadState in your UI: using a listener, and using a special list adapter to present the loading state directly in the RecyclerView list.

Use a listener to get the loading state

To get the loading state for general use in your UI, PagingDataAdapter includes the addLoadStateListener() method.

Kotlin

// Activities can use lifecycleScope directly, but Fragments should instead use
// viewLifecycleOwner.lifecycleScope.
lifecycleScope.launch {
  pagingAdapter.loadStateFlow.collectLatest { loadStates ->
    progressBar.isVisible = loadStates.refresh is LoadState.Loading
    retry.isVisible = loadState.refresh !is LoadState.Loading
    errorMsg.isVisible = loadState.refresh is LoadState.Error
  }
}

Java

pagingAdapter.addLoadStateListener(loadStates -> {
  progressBar.setVisibility(loadStates.refresh instanceof LoadState.Loading
    ? View.VISIBLE : View.GONE);
  retry.setVisibility(loadStates.refresh instanceof LoadState.Loading
    ? View.GONE : View.VISIBLE);
  errorMsg.setVisibility(loadStates.refresh instanceof LoadState.Error
    ? View.VISIBLE : View.GONE);
});

Java

pagingAdapter.addLoadStateListener(loadStates -> {
  progressBar.setVisibility(loadStates.refresh instanceof LoadState.Loading
    ? View.VISIBLE : View.GONE);
  retry.setVisibility(loadStates.refresh instanceof LoadState.Loading
    ? View.GONE : View.VISIBLE);
  errorMsg.setVisibility(loadStates.refresh instanceof LoadState.Error
    ? View.VISIBLE : View.GONE);
});

Use an adapter to present the loading state

The Paging library provides another list adapter called LoadStateAdapter for the purpose of presenting the loading state directly in the displayed list of paged data.

First, create a class that implements LoadStateAdapter, and define the onCreateViewHolder() and onBindViewHolder() methods:

Kotlin

class LoadStateViewHolder(
  parent: ViewGroup,
  retry: () -> Unit
) : RecyclerView.ViewHolder(
  LayoutInflater.from(parent.context)
    .inflate(R.layout.load_state_item, parent, false)
) {
  private val binding = LoadStateItemBinding.bind(itemView)
  private val progressBar: ProgressBar = binding.progressBar
  private val errorMsg: TextView = binding.errorMsg
  private val retry: Button = binding.retryButton
    .also {
      it.setOnClickListener { retry() }
    }

  fun bind(loadState: LoadState) {
    if (loadState is LoadState.Error) {
      errorMsg.text = loadState.error.localizedMessage
    }

    progressBar.isVisible = loadState is LoadState.Loading
    retry.isVisible = loadState is LoadState.Error
    errorMsg.isVisible = loadState is LoadState.Error
  }
}

// Adapter that displays a loading spinner when
// state = LoadState.Loading, and an error message and retry
// button when state is LoadState.Error.
class ExampleLoadStateAdapter(
  private val retry: () -> Unit
) : LoadStateAdapter<LoadStateViewHolder()> {

  override fun onCreateViewHolder(
    parent: ViewGroup,
    loadState: LoadState
  ) = LoadStateViewHolder(parent, retry)

  override fun onBindViewHolder(
    holder: LoadStateViewHolder,
    loadState: LoadState
  ) = holder.bind(loadState)
}

Java

class LoadStateViewHolder extends RecyclerView.ViewHolder {
  private ProgressBar mProgressBar;
  private TextView mErrorMsg;
  private Button mRetry;

  LoadStateViewHolder(
    @NonNull ViewGroup parent,
    @NonNull View.OnClickListener retryCallback) {
    super(LayoutInflater.from(parent.getContext())
      .inflate(R.layout.load_state_item, parent, false));

    LoadStateItemBinding binding = LoadStateItemBinding.bind(itemView);
    mProgressBar = binding.progressBar;
    mErrorMsg = binding.errorMsg;
    mRetry = binding.retryButton;
  }

  public void bind(LoadState loadState) {
    if (loadState instanceof LoadState.Error) {
      LoadState.Error loadStateError = (LoadState.Error) loadState;
      mErrorMsg.setText(loadStateError.getError().getLocalizedMessage());
    }
    mProgressBar.setVisibility(loadState instanceof LoadState.Loading
      ? View.VISIBLE : View.GONE);
    mRetry.setVisibility(loadState instanceof LoadState.Error
      ? View.VISIBLE : View.GONE);
    mErrorMsg.setVisibility(loadState instanceof LoadState.Error
      ? View.VISIBLE : View.GONE);
  }
}

// Adapter that displays a loading spinner when
// state instanceOf LoadState.Loading, and an error message and
// retry button when state instanceof LoadState.Error.
class ExampleLoadStateAdapter extends LoadStateAdapter<LoadStateViewHolder> {
  private View.OnClickListener mRetryCallback;

  ExampleLoadStateAdapter(View.OnClickListener retryCallback) {
    mRetryCallback = retryCallback;
  }

  @NotNull
  @Override
  public LoadStateViewHolder onCreateViewHolder(@NotNull ViewGroup parent,
    @NotNull LoadState loadState) {
    return new LoadStateViewHolder(parent, mRetryCallback);
  }

  @Override
  public void onBindViewHolder(@NotNull LoadStateViewHolder holder,
    @NotNull LoadState loadState) {
    holder.bind(loadState);
  }
}

Java

class LoadStateViewHolder extends RecyclerView.ViewHolder {
  private ProgressBar mProgressBar;
  private TextView mErrorMsg;
  private Button mRetry;

  LoadStateViewHolder(
    @NonNull ViewGroup parent,
    @NonNull View.OnClickListener retryCallback) {
    super(LayoutInflater.from(parent.getContext())
      .inflate(R.layout.load_state_item, parent, false));

    LoadStateItemBinding binding = LoadStateItemBinding.bind(itemView);
    mProgressBar = binding.progressBar;
    mErrorMsg = binding.errorMsg;
    mRetry = binding.retryButton;
  }

  public void bind(LoadState loadState) {
    if (loadState instanceof LoadState.Error) {
      LoadState.Error loadStateError = (LoadState.Error) loadState;
      mErrorMsg.setText(loadStateError.getError().getLocalizedMessage());
    }
    mProgressBar.setVisibility(loadState instanceof LoadState.Loading
      ? View.VISIBLE : View.GONE);
    mRetry.setVisibility(loadState instanceof LoadState.Error
      ? View.VISIBLE : View.GONE);
    mErrorMsg.setVisibility(loadState instanceof LoadState.Error
      ? View.VISIBLE : View.GONE);
  }
}

// Adapter that displays a loading spinner when
// state instanceOf LoadState.Loading, and an error message and
// retry button when state instanceof LoadState.Error.
class ExampleLoadStateAdapter extends LoadStateAdapter<LoadStateViewHolder> {
  private View.OnClickListener mRetryCallback;

  ExampleLoadStateAdapter(View.OnClickListener retryCallback) {
    mRetryCallback = retryCallback;
  }

  @NotNull
  @Override
  public LoadStateViewHolder onCreateViewHolder(@NotNull ViewGroup parent,
    @NotNull LoadState loadState) {
    return new LoadStateViewHolder(parent, mRetryCallback);
  }

  @Override
  public void onBindViewHolder(@NotNull LoadStateViewHolder holder,
    @NotNull LoadState loadState) {
    holder.bind(loadState);
  }
}

Then, call the withLoadStateHeaderAndFooter() method from your PagingDataAdapter object:

Kotlin

pagingAdapter
  .withLoadStateHeaderAndFooter(
    header = ExampleLoadStateAdapter(adapter::retry),
    footer = ExampleLoadStateAdapter(adapter::retry)
  )

Java

pagingAdapter
  .withLoadStateHeaderAndFooter(
    new ExampleLoadStateAdapter(pagingAdapter::retry),
    new ExampleLoadStateAdapter(pagingAdapter::retry));

Java

pagingAdapter
  .withLoadStateHeaderAndFooter(
    new ExampleLoadStateAdapter(pagingAdapter::retry),
    new ExampleLoadStateAdapter(pagingAdapter::retry));

You can instead call withLoadStateHeader() or withLoadStateFooter() if you only want the RecyclerView to display the loading state in the header or footer.

Additional resources

To learn more about the Paging library, see the following additional resources:

Codelabs

Samples