Unable to Full Outer Join with MS Access

Published: 19 Jun 2015
Last Modified Date: 09 Jun 2017


How to use a union to imitate an outer join when connected to an MS Access database.


  • Tableau Desktop
  • Access


Option 1

  1. If in 8.2 or later, connect to the data using a legacy connection. If in 8.1 or earlier, connect as usual.
  2. Write custom SQL for a UNION of a LEFT and RIGHT join.

Option 2

Mirror the data to a database that supports a Full Outer join, such as MS SQL.


When connecting to data on a Microsoft Access database, the outer join is not available due to limitations in the Microsoft Access database.
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