Assuming you're joining on columns with no duplicates, which is a very common case:

An inner join of A and B gives the result of A intersect B, i.e. the inner part of a Venn diagram intersection.

An outer join of A and B gives the results of A union B, i.e. the outer parts of a Venn diagram union.

**Examples**

Suppose you have two tables, with a single column each, and data as follows:

```
A B
- -
1 3
2 4
3 5
4 6
```

Note that (1,2) are unique to A, (3,4) are common, and (5,6) are unique to B.

**Inner join**

An inner join using either of the equivalent queries gives the intersection of the two tables, i.e. the two rows they have in common.

```
select * from a INNER JOIN b on a.a = b.b;
select a.*, b.* from a,b where a.a = b.b;
a | b
--+--
3 | 3
4 | 4
```

**Left outer join**

A left outer join will give all rows in A, plus any common rows in B.

```
select * from a LEFT OUTER JOIN b on a.a = b.b;
select a.*, b.* from a,b where a.a = b.b(+);
a | b
--+-----
1 | null
2 | null
3 | 3
4 | 4
```

**Right outer join**

A right outer join will give all rows in B, plus any common rows in A.

```
select * from a RIGHT OUTER JOIN b on a.a = b.b;
select a.*, b.* from a,b where a.a(+) = b.b;
a | b
-----+----
3 | 3
4 | 4
null | 5
null | 6
```

**Full outer join**

A full outer join will give you the union of A and B, i.e. all the rows in A and all the rows in B. If something in A doesn't have a corresponding datum in B, then the B portion is null, and vice versa.

```
select * from a FULL OUTER JOIN b on a.a = b.b;
a | b
-----+-----
1 | null
2 | null
3 | 3
4 | 4
null | 6
null | 5
```

There are several differences between `HashMap`

and `Hashtable`

in Java:

`Hashtable`

is synchronized, whereas `HashMap`

is not. This makes `HashMap`

better for non-threaded applications, as unsynchronized Objects typically perform better than synchronized ones.

`Hashtable`

does not allow `null`

keys or values. `HashMap`

allows one `null`

key and any number of `null`

values.

One of HashMap's subclasses is `LinkedHashMap`

, so in the event that you'd want predictable iteration order (which is insertion order by default), you could easily swap out the `HashMap`

for a `LinkedHashMap`

. This wouldn't be as easy if you were using `Hashtable`

.

Since synchronization is not an issue for you, I'd recommend `HashMap`

. If synchronization becomes an issue, you may also look at `ConcurrentHashMap`

.

## Best Answer

Do a

`SELECT COUNT(*) FROM ...`

query instead.OR

In either of the case, you won't have to loop over the entire data.