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SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere 16.0 » SQL Anywhere Server - SQL Usage » Queries and data modification » Joins: Retrieving data from several tables » Inner and outer joins » Outer joins


Outer joins and join conditions

A common mistake with outer joins is the placement of the join condition. If you place restrictions on the null-supplying table in a WHERE clause, the join is usually equivalent to an inner join.

The reason for this is that most search conditions cannot evaluate to TRUE when any of their inputs are NULL. The WHERE clause restriction on the null-supplying table compares values to NULL, resulting in the elimination of the row from the result set. The rows in the preserved table are not preserved and so the join is an inner join.

The exception to this is comparisons that can evaluate to true when any of their inputs are NULL. These include IS NULL, IS UNKNOWN, IS FALSE, IS NOT TRUE, and expressions involving ISNULL or COALESCE.

 See also