Server Side Sorting in Angular mat-table using matSort

In server side pagination, when we click on the next page or change the page size of mat-paginator we will go to server get corresponding page records.

As we don’t have total table data, it’s wrong to use client side sorting, so we have to add Server side sorting along with server side pagination.

Whenever we click on sort column we have to send sorting column name and sort order along with page size and page number parameters.

To implement server side sorting in Angular mat-table, our API should accept sorting column and sort order parameters.

Steps to implement Server side sorting in Angular material table.

In client side sorting, we will get all records from the server at a time and sort them using built in sort functionality in Angular material sort.

In this tutorial we will learn how to add Server Side Sorting in Angular mat-table along with server side pagination..

Step 1 : Add Sorting components from Angular material.

As explained in previous client side sorting example, import MatSortModule from @angular/material add it in app.module.ts file.

Make sure you have added

  1. MatSort and Sort in mat-table component ts file.
import {MatSort, Sort} from '@angular/material/sort';
  1. matSort directive to the table
<table mat-table [dataSource]="dataSource" class="mat-elevation-z8" matSort #empTbSort="matSort">

Step 2: Add mat-sort-header directive to the required sorting column headers

I am using github issues search API, which displays the open issues in a particular repository.

And this search API accepts created_date parameter as sorting column, so we need to add mat-sort-header directive to created column.

<!-- Created Column -->
<ng-container matColumnDef="created">
        <th mat-header-cell *matHeaderCellDef mat-sort-header disableClear>
        <td mat-cell *matCellDef="let row">{{ row.created_at | date }}</td>

Step 3: Create Server API which accepts sort column and sort direction.

As explained above our serer API should accept sort column name, sort direction and page length parameters in order to implement server side sorting.

The github issues search api which accepts sort, sort direction and page size parameters.

You need to create your own API which accepts above parameters.

Step 4: Create a Service which calls the backend API

Now we will create a service called GithubService with the method called getRepoIssues().

Inside this method, using HttpClient.get() method we will call the API end point.

    sort: string,
    order: SortDirection,
    page: number,
  ): Observable<GithubApi> {
    const href = '';
    const requestUrl = `${href}?q=repo:angular/components&sort=${sort}&order=${order}&page=${
      page + 1

    return this.http.get<GithubApi>(requestUrl);

I have created two interfaces named GithubApi and GithubIssue to map with the data returned from the API.

export interface GithubApi {
  items: GithubIssue[];
  total_count: number;

export interface GithubIssue {
  created_at: string;
  number: string;
  state: string;
  title: string;

Inject this service in our component.ts file.

constructor(public githubService: GithubService) {}

Step 5: Subscribe to MatSort change event

MatSort contains a property called sortChange which is an EventEmitter of type Sort.

And will be triggered when there is a change in sorting columns.

In ngAfterViewInit() method, I am subscribing to this.sort.sortChange.

As we have to implement server side pagination we need to subscribe to as well.

So Iam using Rxjs merge operator to combine both.

  ngAfterViewInit() {
    // If the user changes the sort order, reset back to the first page.
    this.sort.sortChange.subscribe(() => (this.paginator.pageIndex = 0));

        switchMap(() => {
          this.isLoadingResults = true;
          return this.githubService
            .pipe(catchError(() => observableOf(null)));
        map((data) => {
          // Flip flag to show that loading has finished.
          this.isLoadingResults = false;
          this.isRateLimitReached = data === null;

          if (data === null) {
            return [];

          // Only refresh the result length if there is new data. In case of rate
          // limit errors, we do not want to reset the paginator to zero, as that
          // would prevent users from re-triggering requests.
          this.resultsLength = data.total_count;
          return data.items;
      .subscribe((data) => ( = data));

When there is a change in sort order we need to reset back to the first page.

this.sort.sortChange.subscribe(() => (this.paginator.pageIndex = 0));

I am using series of Rxjs Operators like startWith, switchMap, map along merge operator.

In the switchMap operator I am returning getRepoIssues observable with sort column, sort direction along with page size and page number parameters.

mat-paginator contains pageIndex and pageSize attributes which represents page number and page size of mat-table.

As pageIndex start with zero, I am adding +1 to the page index.

In the map operator I am assigning total number of records to the resultsLength variable and returning github issues from the items property of GithubApi.

Finally in the subscribe method, assigning the github issues data to mat-table data source.

Whenever there is a change in mat-paginator or when we click on sorting column the above events will be triggered and the table data will be updated accordingly.

Adding progress spinner to mat-table

It’s better to add a progress spinner to the mat-table, which will be displayed while loading the data from the back end API.

I am using isLoadingResults property to display or hide the progress spinner.

    *ngIf="isLoadingResults || isRateLimitReached"
    <mat-spinner *ngIf="isLoadingResults"></mat-spinner>
    <div class="example-rate-limit-reached" *ngIf="isRateLimitReached">
      GitHub's API rate limit has been reached. It will be reset in one minute.

Here is the demo for mat-table server side sort


Arunkumar Gudelli

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