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

Posted on 2007-08-09
Medium Priority
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

Daniel Wilson earned 200 total points
ID: 19666920
"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

ID: 19666995
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

ID: 19667494

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,

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