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Learn SQL Tutorial for Beginners!

Part: Joining tables


The ability to join tables is one of the most important feature of a database. It allows the user to create a new set of data gathered from joining two tables side by side, “stitching” the columns of the first table with the columns of the second table.

We need to join tables when you want to query one table, and then add information to the result of a SELECT statement for each row from another table.

Joining two tables effectively creates a “cartesian multiplication” result from a query with two tables, producing M * N rows in the resulting output (assuming the first table contains M rows and the second table contains N rows). However, when joining two tables a join condition is used which limits the amount of rows returned to a relationship condition between the two tables.

Let’s see an example. Let’s say we have a database that contains customers and orders which the customers have made. The orders table refers to the ID of the customer from the customer table to track which order was made by each customer. We’d like to see all orders done by our customers, alongside the customer names.


    .exec
    CREATE TABLE customers (
        id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
        first_name TEXT,
        last_name TEXT
    );

    CREATE TABLE orders (
        id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
        customer_id INTEGER,
        product_name TEXT
    );

    INSERT INTO customers (first_name, last_name) VALUES
        ("John", "Doe");

    INSERT INTO orders (customer_id, product_name) VALUES
        (last_insert_rowid(), "Coke"),
        (last_insert_rowid(), "Sprite");

    .mode column
    .headers on
    SELECT product_name, first_name, last_name
    FROM orders
    JOIN customers ON orders.customer_id = customers.id;

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