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Equi Join in SQL – What is It and Why to Use It?

Structured Query Language, also known as SQL, is among the most powerful tools for managing and manipulating relational databases. One of the most paramount operations in SQL is combining tables, which enables you to amalgamate data from various tables depending on the related column between them.  Delving into the joins in SQL, the Equi Join stands tall as the most utilised technique for collaborating data. In this write-up, you will delve deep into the intricacies of SQL joins, particularly emphasising Equi Join, propelling its purpose, usage, differences from other joins, perks, and best practices. 


In This Article


  • What is an Equi Join?
  • Why is Equi Join Used?
  • When is Equi Join Used?
  • Difference Between Equi Join and Other Joins
  • Advantages of Choosing Equi Join:
  • Best Practices for Equi Join
  • To Put It Altogether
  • Frequently Asked Questions


What is an Equi Join?


An Equi Join is a kind of join in SQL, combining rows from two or more tables depending upon a matching column between them. Dissimilar to other joins that may utilise inequality operators like >, <, >=, <= to develop bonds, Equi Join employs equality operators (=) exclusively. This also suggests that the join condition checks for equality between columns in various other tables.


Syntax of Equi Join


The syntax of Equi Join radically follows this pattern:


SELECT columns

FROM table1

JOIN table2 ON table1.column = table2.column;


Why is Equi Join Used?


Equi Join is typically utilised to extract data from related tables with a common column (s) between them. It provides the procedure of querying data requiring in-depth details from various tables depending upon synchronising values in specified columns. Equi Join is specifically advantageous for tasks like fetching employee details and their corresponding department details, merging sales data with customer data, or merging product information with inventory records.

When is Equi Join Used?


Equi Join is deployed when data is needed to be retrieved by matching values in specified columns in many different tables. It is utilised in scenarios where there is a one-to-one or many-to-one bond between the tables associated with the join operation. Equi Join is accurate for situations where the equality condition suffices to set up the relationship between rows from varied tables accurately.


Example of Equi Join: Imagine these two tables: Employees and Departments.

Employees Table

Employee ID Name    Department ID
1 Anuj 101
2 Sarthak 102
3 Mohd. 101
4 Esha 103


Departments Table

Department ID Department Name
101 HR
102 Finance
103 Marketing




For extracting or retrieving the employees’ names along with their corresponding department names, using an Equi Join will ease the entire process.

SELECT Employees.Name, Departments.DepartmentName FROM Employees JOIN Departments ON Employees.DepartmentID = Departments.DepartmentID; 


This query will result in the following output:

Name Department Name
Anuj HR
Sarthak Finance
Mohd. HR
Esha Marketing


Difference between Equi Join and Other Joins


An Equi join is a join in SQL where records are amalgamated based on the equality of values in particular columns from two different tables. It’s unique from other kinds of joins like inner joins, outer joins, and cross joins.


Inner Join


  • In this inner join, records are accurately merged from two different tables only if there is a sync or match depending on the specified condition.


  • Unlike an Equi Join, which particularly utilises equality as the condition, an inner join can make use of any condition to tone with records from the two tables.


Outer Join 


  • Outer joins incorporate records from one or two tables even if there is no matching record in the other table.


  • A left outer join comprises all records from the left table and matching records from the right table (if there is any). 


  • A right outer join consists of all records from the right table and toning pup with records from the left table (if any).


  • A full outer join possesses all records from both tables, filling in NULL values where there is no match.


Cross Join


  • In this cross-join, also known as a Cartesian join, each and every amalgamation of records from the two tables is incorporated into the result set.


  • Dissimilar to Equi Joins and various other kinds of joins, cross joins do not have a join condition depending on matching values.


Advantages of Choosing Equi Join:


  • Clarity & Simplicity

Equi Joins are to the point and simple to comprehend. They explicitly specify all the conditions for joining tables depending on equality, making the query logic clear.


  • Performance

Equi Joins can often be optimised to have a more full impact by the database engine in comparison with other types of joins. Since they include a straightforward equality comparison, the query optimiser can make wise and better decisions about the most efficient join algorithm to utilise.


  • Lessen Risk of Cartesian Products

Unlike cross joins, Equi Joins significantly lessen the risk of unintentionally creating Cartesian products, where each and every row from one table is synced with each row from another table, leading to massive outcome sets as well as performance issues.


  • Ease of Maintenance

Equi Joins usually result in cleaner and more maintainable SQL code. The join  

condition is explicitly stated, making it simpler for developers to comprehend and alter the query if required.


Best Practices for Equi Join:


  • Utilise Explicit Column Names

Always clearly specify the columns utilised for joining to avoid ambiguity and enhance readability. Not only this, it also helps prevent unintended matches if the column names are changed or additional columns are incorporated into the tables.


  • Consider Indexing

Make sure that the columns that are utilised for Equi Join are properly indexed, as indexing can significantly improve the performance of join operations, especially when it comes to large tables.


  • Avoid Using Equi Join with Different Data Types

When joining columns, make sure that they have compatible data types. In synchronised data types, it can lead to uncertain results as well as errors. If necessary, use type conversion functions to ensure compatibility.


  • Understand Data Distribution

Prior to kicking start, performing an Equi Join, analyse and observe the data distribution in the joining columns. Skewed data distributions can impact query performance, and you may be required to contemplate alternative join strategies or data pre-processing methods.


  • Limit Result Sets

When joining hefty tables, consider implementing additional filters or conditions to confine the size of the result set. This can support query performance and lessen resource consumption.


To Put It Altogether


Equi Join is a fundamental SQL operation for merging data from related tables, depending on the equality between columns. It gives a simple yet powerful mechanism for extracting precise information from databases. By getting in-depth knowledge of its purpose, usage, examples, differences from other joins, advantages, and best practices, SQL developers can efficiently leverage Equi Join to effectively manage & handle query relational data. If you are ready to take your career to new heights, you can enrol for certification courses like the Accelerator Program in Business Analytics and Data Science offered at online platforms like Hero Vired.


An Equi Join in SQL combines tables depending on equality between values in particular specified columns.
Unlike other joins, an Equi Join specifically tones up rows with equal values in the specified columns.
Equi Joins can make queries more comprehensible and often perform better than other join types because of their straightforward matching criteria.
Absolutely, multiple columns can be utilised in an Equi Join to match corresponding values in various other tables.
To optimise performance, make sure that the columns utilised in the Equi Join are properly indexed and contemplate the overall query structure for efficiency.

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