Fetch all resources behind an API using an offset-based pagination


Iterate through all the resources behind a paged API

For the purpose of this blog post, I will use the GitLab API. I will fetch issues of a popular project: https://gitlab.com/inkscape/inkscape. This project has over 500 issues. A GET requests to /issues should return an array with a limited number of the issues. GitLab uses an offset-based pagination.

As explained in: https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/api/README.html#offset-based-pagination, we can add a page and a per_page query parameters to our requests to get what we want. The next section in the link above explains what we will find in the responses that tells us if we have exhausted the content or not. GitLab supports a Link header in which we can find the previous and/or the next page if they’re available. The responses also contain a bunch of headers like X-Prev-Page, X-Next-Page and X-Total-Pages that can help us achieve the same thing. With that information, let’s get started.

First, lets start with the FS2, but especially the http4s client boilerplate:

import fs2._, fs2.concurrent._
import cats._, cats.implicits._, cats.effect._, cats.effect.implicits._, scala.concurrent.duration._

import org.http4s._
import org.http4s.headers._
import org.http4s.Method._
import org.http4s.client.blaze._
import org.http4s.client._
import org.http4s.client.dsl.io._
import org.http4s.Uri

import scala.concurrent.ExecutionContext.Implicits.global

implicit val ioContextShift: ContextShift[IO] = IO.contextShift(global)
implicit val ioTimer: Timer[IO] = IO.timer(global)
val blocker: Blocker = Blocker.liftExecutionContext(global)

def withClient[T](f: Client[IO] => IO[T]): IO[T] = {
  BlazeClientBuilder[IO](global).resource.use { client =>

With this, we can start to write the logic to make our requests using the http4s client. All we have to do is write a function that takes in a Client[IO] and then pass it to withClient to have our final program. Let’s do a first request and look at the headers:

val baseUri = Uri.uri("https://gitlab.com/api/v4/projects/inkscape%2Finkscape/issues")
val baseRequest = GET(
  Header("PRIVATE-TOKEN", "s4S25aWeMq6CYqst-PC3"), //do not worry, this token was removed

def getXHeaders(client: Client[IO]): IO[List[Header]] = {
  client.fetch(baseRequest) { r =>
    val headers = r.headers.toList
    val filtered = headers.filter(_.name.value.startsWith("X-"))
// res0: List[Header] = List(
//   Raw(X-Content-Type-Options, "nosniff"),
//   Raw(X-Frame-Options, "SAMEORIGIN"),
//   Raw(X-Next-Page, "2"),
//   Raw(X-Page, "1"),
//   Raw(X-Per-Page, "20"),
//   Raw(X-Prev-Page, ""),
//   Raw(X-Request-Id, "opWZs96yAc9"),
//   Raw(X-Runtime, "0.209089"),
//   Raw(X-Total, "1130"),
//   Raw(X-Total-Pages, "57")
// )

We can see, as per the documentation that we get all the headers that we need. We just need a way to iterate and continuously get new pages until we’ve exhausted them all. To do that, we’ll use the FS2 Stream API. The Stream object has a method called unfoldLoopEval which is the perfect candidate for what we’re trying to do. The signature of this function is: def unfoldLoopEval[F[_], S, O](s: S)(f: (S) => F[(O, Option[S])]): Stream[F, O]. Bear with me, the signature is quite intimidating, but we’ll go through it step by step.

The function has 3 type parameters:

The first argument of the function, type S is the bootstrap value.It will be passed to the second argument, the function: f: (S) => F[(O, Option[S])]. This function takes in the bootstrap value and returns, in the effect F[_], a tuple. On the left side of the tuple, we have O, an element that will be emitted down the stream and on the right side, we have an Option[S] which represent whether or not the function f will be called again.

In our case, we’ll leverage the function as follow:

The initial S bootstrap value will be a base request for page 1. The function will be doing the following things:

  1. make the request.
  2. inspect the response headers, if the X-Next-Page is present, place it’s value in a Some and return it in the right side of the tuple.
  3. take the response’s body, and return it in the left side of the tuple.

Let’s implement it:

//build the uri
def getRequestUri(maybePage: Option[String]): Uri = {
  maybePage.map(page => baseUri +? ("page", page)).getOrElse(baseUri)

//given a response, do we generate another uri
def getNextUri(response: Response[IO]): Option[Uri] = {
  import org.http4s.util.CaseInsensitiveString

    .find(_.name === CaseInsensitiveString("X-Next-Page"))
    .map(h => getRequestUri(Some(h.value)))

def pagesStream(client: Client[IO]) = {
  Stream.unfoldLoopEval[IO, Uri, String](getRequestUri(None)){ uri =>
    val request = baseRequest.map(_.withUri(uri))

    client.fetch[(String, Option[Uri])](request) { response =>
      val nextUri = getNextUri(response)
      response.as[String].map(body => (body, nextUri))
val first5Pages = withClient { client =>
  val pages = pagesStream(client)
    .map(_.map(_.take(50))) // 50 first chars of each page for brievity
// first5Pages: IO[List[String]] = Async(
//   cats.effect.internals.IOBracket$$$Lambda$1168/1890131314@1d349d15,
//   false
// )

// List([{"id":31999786,"iid":1148,"project_id":3472737,"t, [{"id":31998926,"iid":1147,"project_id":3472737,"t, [{"id":31787616,"iid":1111,"project_id":3472737,"t, [{"id":31572934,"iid":1088,"project_id":3472737,"t, [{"id":31391571,"iid":1062,"project_id":3472737,"t)

This approach is very simplistic but it’s not too hard to understand. Really, the biggest challenge for me was finding the right function to use on a complex and powerful API like Stream.

In a following blog post, we’ll cover the following improvements:


https://www.javadoc.io/doc/co.fs2/fs2-core_2.13/2.2.2/fs2/Stream$.html https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/api/README.html#offset-based-pagination https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/api/issues.html