Microsoft, Access, 2003, clarification on definitions of right and left outer joins

Posted on 2007-08-09
Last Modified: 2013-11-05

I have read two different books which offer opposite definitions of left and right outer joins.

This is my understandin, and please correct me:
Right outer join:  Include all records in the right table and only records in the left table where there is a match in the joined field.
Left outer join is opposite.

Is left or right arbitrarily assigned if you are just programming in SQL vs. using the QBE?  Just confusing.  Thanks so much.
Question by:dustywork
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    "right" vs "left" is simply a matter of which table is on which side of the JOIN keyword.

    Table1 Left Join Table2
    is equivalent to
    Table2 Right Join Table1

    You will probably develop your own style for using those joins.  My standard is that I always use LEFT joins.  Mixing LEFT's and RIGHT's tends to confuse me.

    "Right outer join:  Include all records in the right table and only records in the left table where there is a match in the joined field.
    Left outer join is opposite."

    LVL 77

    Expert Comment

    You can use Left and Right joins in the query grid.
    Right-click the join line and choose Join Type.  You will be asked a sensible Q for once!

    Author Comment


    Thanks for the feedback.  You've cleared things up nicely and given me a good technique to use going forward.  Alas, the sea of SQL is looking less choppy for me!

    Peter57r, thanks for taking the time to offer your insight as well.

    Wishing you both the best and greatful for your time.

    Kind Regards,

    Featured Post

    IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

    Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

    Join & Write a Comment

    Suggested Solutions

    'Between' is such a common word we rarely think about it but in SQL it has a very specific definition we should be aware of. While most database vendors will have their own unique phrases to describe it (see references at end) the concept in common …
    If you have heard of RFC822 date formats, they can be quite a challenge in SQL Server. RFC822 is an Internet standard format for email message headers, including all dates within those headers. The RFC822 protocols are available in detail at:   ht…
    This demo shows you how to set up the containerized NetScaler CPX with NetScaler Management and Analytics System in a non-routable Mesos/Marathon environment for use with Micro-Services applications.
    Polish reports in Access so they look terrific. Take yourself to another level. Equations, Back Color, Alternate Back Color. Write easy VBA Code. Tighten space to use less pages. Launch report from a menu, considering criteria only when it is filled…

    745 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    13 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now