Amazon CloudSearch
Developer Guide (API Version 2013-01-01)

Paginating Results in Amazon CloudSearch

By default, Amazon CloudSearch returns the top ten hits according to the specified sort order. To control the number of hits returned in a result set, you use the size parameter.

To get the next set of hits beginning from a particular offset, you can use the start parameter. Note that the result set is zero-based—the first result is at index 0. You can get the first 10,000 hits using the size and start parameters. To page through more than 10,000 hits, use the cursor parameter. For more information, see Deep Paging Beyond 10,000 Hits .

For example, search?q=wolverine returns the first 10 hits that contain wolverine, starting at index 0. The following example sets the start parameter to 10 to get the next set of ten hits.


If you want to retrieve 25 hits at a time, set the size parameter to 25. To get the first set of hits, you don't have to set the start parameter.


For subsequent requests, use the start parameter to retrieve the set of hits you want. For example, to get the third batch of 25 hits, specify the following:


Deep Paging Beyond 10,000 Hits in Amazon CloudSearch

Using size and start to page through results works well if you only need to access the first few pages of results. However, if you need to page through thousands of hits, using a cursor is more efficient. To page through more than 10,000 hits, you must use a cursor. (You can only access the first 10,000 hits using the start and size parameters.)

To page through results using a cursor, you specify cursor=initial in your initial search request and include the size parameter to specify how many hits you want to get. Amazon CloudSearch returns a cursor value in the response that you use to get the next set of hits. Cursors return sequential sets of hits; however, you can use them to simulate random access of a deep page if you need to. Keep in mind that cursors are intended to be used to page through a result set within a reasonable amount of time of the initial request. Using a stale cursor can return stale results if updates have been posted to the index in the interim.


When you use a cursor to page through a result set that is sorted by document score (_score), you can get inconsistent results if the index is updated between requests. This can also occur if your domain's replication count is greater than one, because updates are applied in an eventually consistent manner across the instances in the domain. If this is an issue, avoid sorting the results by score. You can either use the sort option to sort by a particular field, or use fq instead of q to specify your search criteria. (Document scores are not calculated for filter queries.)

For example, the following request sets the cursor value to initial and the size parameter to 100 to get the first set of hits.


The cursor for the next set of hits is included in the response.

{ "status": { "rid": "z67+3L0oHgo6swY=", "time-ms": 7 }, "hits": { "found": 1649, "start": 0, "cursor": "Vb-HSS4YQW9JSVFKeFpvQ2wwZERBek16SXpOems9Aw", "hit": [ { "id": "tt0397892" }, . . . { "id": "tt0332379" } ] } }

In the next request, the cursor parameter specifies the returned cursor value.