Josh K Josh K - 2 months ago 8
MySQL Question

Why does MySQL report a syntax error on FULL OUTER JOIN?

SELECT airline, airports.icao_code, continent, country, province, city, website

FROM airlines
FULL OUTER JOIN airports ON airlines.iaco_code = airports.iaco_code
FULL OUTER JOIN cities ON airports.city_id = cities.city_id
FULL OUTER JOIN provinces ON cities.province_id = provinces.province_id
FULL OUTER JOIN countries ON cities.country_id = countries.country_id
FULL OUTER JOIN continents ON countries.continent_id = continents.continent_id


It says that


You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'outer join
airports
on airlines.iaco_code = airports.iaco_code
full outer join' at line 4


The syntax looks right to me. I've never done a lot of joins before, but I need those columns in a table which is cross referenced by various id's.

Answer

There is no FULL OUTER JOIN in MySQL. See 7.2.12. Outer Join Simplification and 12.2.8.1. JOIN Syntax:

You can emulate FULL OUTER JOIN using UNION (from MySQL 4.0.0 on):

with two tables t1, t2:

SELECT * FROM t1
LEFT JOIN t2 ON t1.id = t2.id
UNION
SELECT * FROM t1
RIGHT JOIN t2 ON t1.id = t2.id

with three tables t1, t2, t3:

SELECT * FROM t1
LEFT JOIN t2 ON t1.id = t2.id
LEFT JOIN t3 ON t2.id = t3.id
UNION
SELECT * FROM t1
RIGHT JOIN t2 ON t1.id = t2.id
LEFT JOIN t3 ON t2.id = t3.id
UNION
SELECT * FROM t1
RIGHT JOIN t2 ON t1.id = t2.id
RIGHT JOIN t3 ON t2.id = t3.id