Sharepoint 2013 REST API: Retrieving List Item Data   1 comment

I first discussed retrieving List Item data here: Sharepoint 2013 REST API: The C# Connection: Part 3 Working With List Item Data.  The simple REST API call:


functions like

select * from Table1

in a SQL data base.  However Sharepoint, although resting on SQL Server for everything, will only return the a limited number of rows from the underlying list.  The maximum number of items (rows) returned in a single call is governed by a system constraint.  On our out of the box Sharepoint 2013 installation the limit was 100 rows!  Supposable Sharepoint Sever Admins can change the maximum value but they can not eliminate the constraint.  The naïve coder might think that this can be gotten around using the $SKIP parameter in the ODATA extensions to the Sharepoint REST API.  Alas $SKIP is not implemented, instead M$ implemented it own undocumented skip parameters.  No to worry you don’t need to provide your own parameter values.  The initial call using


returns X rows of the table (in primary key index order) where X is equal to the page constraint discussed above.  If there are additional rows the metadata in the returned data structure will return a “next” hypermedia link whose value is fully qualified Sharepoint Rest API call for the next X rows (i.e. the next page). 


                               Google Barge Sinking Slowly in San Francisco Harbor after being infected with the Sharepoint 2013 Virus

We need then to setup a typical paging object to read items by page until all items are read.  I will be leveraging the code patterns given in the series referenced above the page calls (…/items) return results in XML format and is cast as an XDocument type.  Then we can probe for a “next” link as:

static string _GetLinkToNextPage(XDocument xDoc)
const string matchString = “/Web/Lists”;
var links = from g in xDoc.Descendants().Elements(CSPNamespace.baseNS + “link”)
select g;
const string NEXT = “next”;
foreach (XElement link in links)
string rel = string.Empty;
string href = string.Empty;
foreach (XAttribute att in link.Attributes())
if (att.Name.LocalName == “rel”)
rel = att.Value;
if (att.Name.LocalName == “href”)
href = att.Value;

if (rel == NEXT)

                   //return just the relative path
return href.Substring(href.IndexOf(matchString));

           //return null if no link is found
return null;

The complete object template looks like:

public static class CItemPage
public static List<CEntry> _Worker(HttpClient client, string next)
public static List Exec(HttpClient client, CEntry listMetaData)
       static void _Accumulate(XDocument items, ref List allItems)
static string _GetLinkToNextPage(XDocument xDoc)
static XDocument _GetListMetaData(HttpClient client)


The entry point for the paging activity is CItemPage.Exec which turns around and calls worker where we loop through the data and (for my own purposes) I then accumulate the items from all pages in a single list<CEntry>  using my method _Accumlate.  calls Worker

       public static List _Worker(HttpClient client, string next)
List allItems = new List();
XDocument items = null;
while (next != null)
items = _GetItems(client, next);
next = _GetLinkToNextPage(items);
_Accumulate(items, ref allItems);
return allItems;
catch (Exception x)
var b = x.Message;
return null;


Easy and fun.  Should there be an easier, faster way? yes.


This madness must stop.

One response to “Sharepoint 2013 REST API: Retrieving List Item Data

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  1. Pingback: Sharepoint 2013 REST API: The C# Connection: Part 3 Working With List Item Data | Cloud2013 Or Bust

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