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Difference between inner and outer joins

James Adams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2003
Posts: 188
Can someone explain the difference between inner and outer joins in SQL queries? Is there an online reference?

Can someone suggest a better forum/newsgroup for general SQL questions?

Thanks in advance.

Paul Sturrock

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336

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_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 ]

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