The latest version of ADO.NET Data Services (aka WCF Data Services) provides support for server-driven paging. That is, the server gets to control how many entities are returned in a response (a “page” of data), and lets the client know where to go look for more entities.
This makes it easier to ensure that the server won’t get overloaded if a client specifies a request that results in a very large amount of entities. It also makes it easier for clients to deal with servers that may have limits on the sizes of responses they were willing to return, as these limits are not made public – now they can just rely on the servers returning something that they’re comfortable with, so to speak.
This feature is very well explained in the Server Paging in Data Services post, so I’ll direct you to that rather than repeat that information.
There are a couple of interesting points about server paging as used from the client that I’ll touch on in future posts, so stay tuned.