An inner join is just a join between tables where the rows returned are only those which satisfy the join condition. So:
would be an inner join.
An outer join is one which returns all the rows you would get from an inner join, plus some from one table which do not satisfy the join condition. Suppose you did this:
You would get all the records our first join gives us (i.e. everything where table_a.id = table_b.table_a_id) plus all table_a records whose id does not appear in table_b's table_a_id attribute. Does that make any sense?
(And don't worry - general SQL questions often appear and are answered in here) [ June 23, 2005: Message edited by: Paul Sturrock ]