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Visual Representation of SQL JOINS

The examples in this lesson show several SQL JOIN operations and Venn diagrams to show the result sets of records expected for each JOIN type. A non-equality JOIN expression is also shown.

Sample Tables

There are two sample tables, man and woman, with three attributes each: first_name, last_name and marriage_id. You can JOIN both tables using the marriage_id column.

Table Woman

First_name Last_name Marriage_id
Mary Lee 100
Susan Graue NULL
Meiling Yung NULL
Dipali Gupta 101

Table Man

First_name Last_name Marriage_id
Simon Ming NULL
Peter Duck 101
Juan Perez 100
Dmitry Shepev NULL

In the SQL JOINS lesson you learned the JOIN clause needs a shared column appearing in both tables to combine them. In the sample tables the column is marriage_id.

Here is a representation of the tables in Venn diagrams:

Venn diagram for representation of the tables

Here is a query to obtain the men and women who are married:


SELECT
      M.first_name AS man_first_name,
      M.last_name  AS man_last_name,
      W.first_name AS woman_first_name,
      W.last_name  AS woman_last_name
FROM Man M INNER JOIN Woman W ON M.marriage_id = W.marriage_id

Here are the results using a Venn diagram: Venn diagram for representation of inner join

Here are the resulting records:

man_first_name man_last_name woman_first_name woman_last_name
Peter Duck Dipali Gupta
Juan Perez Mary Lee

For the second SQL JOIN example, suppose you want to obtain the names of all women, married or not. In addition, for women who are married you want the name of the men.

Here is the Venn representation of the expected result:
Venn diagram for representation of left join

Here is the query to obtain the results:


SELECT
      W.first_name AS woman_first_name,
      W.last_name  AS woman_last_name,
      M.first_name AS man_first_name,
      M.last_name  AS man_last_name
FROM Woman W LEFT JOIN Man M ON W.marriage_id = M.marriage_id

The query to obtain all women is a LEFT JOIN. You know from the SQL JOINS lesson that LEFT JOIN returns all records from the left side table regardless if they have a match in the right side table.

Here are the resulting records, with NULL set by LEFT JOIN where there is not a match:

woman_first_name woman_last_name man_first_name man_last_name
Dipali Gupta Peter Duck
Mary Lee Juan Perez
Susan Graue NULL NULL
Meiling Yung NULL NULL

You can leverage the NULL assigned to records from the Man table and create a query to obtain Women who are not married.

Here is the Venn representation of the expected result: Venn diagram for representation of left join with where clause

Here is the query:


SELECT
        W.first_name AS woman_first_name,
        W.last_name  AS woman_last_name,
        M.first_name AS man_first_name,
        M.last_name  AS man_last_name
FROM Woman W LEFT JOIN Man M ON W.marriage_id = M.marriage_id
WHERE  M.marriage_id IS NULL

Here are the resulting records

woman_first_name woman_last_name man_first_name man_last_name
Susan Graue NULL NULL
Meiling Yung NULL NULL

SQL FULL JOIN Operator

The SQL FULL JOIN operator returns all matching records from both tables whether the other table matches or not. FULL JOIN and FULL OUTER JOIN are the same.

Suppose you want to obtain the all women and men who are not married, as represented in the Venn diagram:
Venn diagram for representation of full join

Here is the query:


SELECT
        W.first_name AS woman_first_name,
        W.last_name  AS woman_last_name,
        M.first_name AS man_first_name,
        M.last_name  AS man_last_name
FROM Woman W FULL JOIN Man M ON W.marriage_id = M.marriage_id
WHERE  M.marriage_id IS NULL OR W.marriage_id IS NULL 

Using the SQL FULL JOIN operator obtains the records from both tables. NULL is assigned where there is not a matching record:

woman_first_name woman_last_name man_first_name man_last_name
NULL NULL Dmitry Shepev
NULL NULL Simon Ming
Susan Graue NULL NULL
Meiling Yung NULL NULL

Obtaining All The Records from Both Tables

In this example, you want to obtain all of the records:

Venn diagram for representation of all records

You can reuse the previous query, without the IS NULL comparison for marriage_id:


SELECT
      W.first_name AS woman_first_name,
      W.last_name  AS woman_last_name,
      M.first_name AS man_first_name,
      M.last_name  AS man_last_name
FROM Woman W FULL JOIN Man M ON W.marriage_id = M.marriage_id

Here is the result:

woman_first_name woman_last_name man_first_name man_last_name
NULL NULL Dmitry Shepev
NULL NULL Simon Ming
Susan Graue NULL NULL
Meiling Yung NULL NULL
Dipali Gupta Peter Duck
Mary Lee Juan Perez

There are some cases not covered in this lesson. Most of these cases are symmetric with other covered cases. For example, there was not as example for unmarried men:

Venn diagram for representation of example unmarried man

The unmarried women example is the mirror image case:

Venn diagram for representation of example unmarried women

SQL JOIN Using Non-Equality Expressions

Here is a final JOIN example using non-equality expressions.

Suppose you run a shop and your database has a product table with the columns: product_id, name, price and stock.

product_id name price stock
100 headphones H1 $30 120
101 headphones F2 $25 80
102 Cell phone M23 $210 130
103 Cell phone A22 $219 320
104 Cell phone A25 $270 120
105 wireless headphones H2 $80 250
106 wireless headphones H3 $135 120

For the holidays, you want to create a special offer with a bundle of two products, but you need more data to decide which products to include. You want a query to obtain all the possible candidate pairs of products for the bundle meeting your criteria:

  • Products in stock with more than 100 units
  • Combined price of both products in the range $200 to $350

Here is the query to obtain all the possible product pairs:


SELECT
       P1.name AS name_product1,
       P2.name AS name_product2,
       P1.price + P2.price AS bundle_price,
       P1.stock AS stock_product1,
       P2.stock AS stock_product2
FROM Product P1 INNER JOIN Product P2 ON P1.product_id > P2.product_id
WHERE  P1.stock > 100
  AND  P2.stock > 100
  AND  P1.price + P2.price BETWEEN 200.0 AND 350.0
ORDER BY P1.name, P2.name ;

Here are the results:

Name Product1 Name Product2 Bundle_Price Stock Product1 Stock Product2
Cell phone A22 headphones H1 249 320 120
Cell phone A25 headphones H1 300 120 120
Cell phone M23 headphones H1 240 130 120
wireless headphones H2 Cell phone A22 299 250 320
wireless headphones H2 Cell phone A25 350 250 120
wireless headphones H2 Cell phone M23 290 250 130
wireless headphones H3 Cell phone M23 345 120 130
wireless headphones H3 wireless headphones H2 215 120 250

If you do not use the condition P1.product_id > P2.product_id you have even more candidate pairs, including pairs with the same product on both sides and duplicated pairs like <Product1, Product2 > and <Product2, Product1> .

Closing Words

This lesson presented visual representations to illustrate the resulting datasets of the JOIN operator. You also learned an interesting query using a JOIN with a non equality condition. Keep going, learn SQL and increase your skills!