Microsoft SQL Server Cross Join


A cross join is a Cartesian join, meaning a Cartesian product of both the tables. This join does not need any condition to join two tables. Each row in the left table will join to each row of the right table. Syntax for a cross join:

SELECT * FROM table_1
CROSS JOIN table_2 


/* Sample data. */
DECLARE @Animal table (
    AnimalId Int IDENTITY,
    Animal Varchar(20)

DECLARE @AnimalSound table (
    AnimalSoundId Int IDENTITY,
    AnimalId Int,
    Sound Varchar(20)

INSERT INTO @Animal (Animal) VALUES ('Dog');
INSERT INTO @Animal (Animal) VALUES ('Cat');
INSERT INTO @Animal (Animal) VALUES ('Elephant');

INSERT INTO @AnimalSound (AnimalId, Sound) VALUES (1, 'Barks');
INSERT INTO @AnimalSound (AnimalId, Sound) VALUES (2, 'Meows');
INSERT INTO @AnimalSound (AnimalId, Sound) VALUES (3, 'Trumpet');
/* Sample data prepared. */

    CROSS JOIN @AnimalSound;


AnimalId    Animal               AnimalSoundId AnimalId    Sound
----------- -------------------- ------------- ----------- --------------------
1           Dog                  1             1           Barks
2           Cat                  1             1           Barks
3           Elephant             1             1           Barks
1           Dog                  2             2           Meows
2           Cat                  2             2           Meows
3           Elephant             2             2           Meows
1           Dog                  3             3           Trumpet
2           Cat                  3             3           Trumpet
3           Elephant             3             3           Trumpet

Note that there are other ways that a CROSS JOIN can be applied. This is a an "old style" join (deprecated since ANSI SQL-92) with no condition, which results in a cross/Cartesian join:

FROM @Animal, @AnimalSound;

This syntax also works due to an "always true" join condition, but is not recommended and should be avoided, in favor of explicit CROSS JOIN syntax, for the sake of readability.

    JOIN @AnimalSound 
        ON 1=1