This tutorial will show CodeIgniter left outer join example. We will use CodeIgniter’s Query Builder Class to build left outer or left join queries for fetching data from multiple tables.

The purpose of a join is to combine the data across tables.

A join is actually performed by the where clause which combines the specified rows of tables.

If a join involves in more than two tables then first two tables are joined based on the join condition and then compares the result with the next table and so on.

Here we will see Left Outer Join example. Outer join gives the non-matching records along with matching records. Left Outer Join will display the all matching records and the records which are in left hand side table those that are not in right hand side table.

We will use CodeIgniter’s $this->db->join() that permits you to write the join portion of your query.

Read also Codeigniter Full Outer Join Example ,  Codeigniter Right Outer Join Example and Codeigniter Join Example


Apache HTTP Server 2.4, PHP 7.3.5, CodeIgniter 3.1.10, MySQL 8.0.17


Here we will see an example how to create a left outer join query to fetch data from MySQL table.

Suppose we have blogs table with below data:

sql join

And we have blog_comments table with below data:

sql join

On executing below query:

SELECT blogs.blog_id,comment_id,blog_title,blog_content,blog_date,comment_text,comment_date
 FROM blogs LEFT OUTER JOIN blog_comments ON blog_comments.blog_id = blogs.blog_id;

We will get below results:

left outer join

Creating Project Directory

It’s assumed that you have setup Apache 2.4, PHP 7.3.5 and Codeigniter 3.1.10 in Windows system.

Now we will create a project root directory called codeIgniter-left-outer-join under the Apache server’s htdocs folder.

Now move all the directories and files from CodeIgniter 3.1.10 framework into  codeIgniter-left-outer-join directory.

We may not mention the project root directory in subsequent sections and we will assume that we are talking with respect to the project’s root directory.

Configuring Database

Configure your MySQL database to work with your CodeIgniter application.

'hostname' => 'localhost',
'username' => 'root',
'password' => 'root',
'database' => 'roytuts',
'dbdriver' => 'mysqli',

Configuring Auto-load

We will configure database library and helpers to auto-load to avoid load every time we need to use such things in the application.

Update the below lines in the file application/config/autoload.php.

$autoload['libraries'] = array('database');
$autoload['helper'] = array('url', 'file');

Creating Model Class

We will perform database operation to fetch data using left outer join query so we will create model class.

We will use CodeIgniter’s Query builder class to build the left outer join query.

Create a file LeftJoinModel.php under application/models folder with the below source code.


 * Description of LeftJoinModel
 * @author
class LeftJoinModel extends CI_Model {

    private $blogs = 'blogs';   // blog table
    private $blog_comments = 'blog_comments';   // blog comment table

    function __construct() {

    function left_outer_join() {
        $this->db->select($this->blogs . '.blog_id,comment_id,blog_title,blog_content,blog_date,comment_text,comment_date');
        //third parameter indicates left outer join
        $this->db->join($this->blog_comments, $this->blog_comments . '.blog_id = ' . $this->blogs . '.blog_id', 'left outer');
        $query = $this->db->get();
        return $query->result();


Creating Controller Class

We will create controller class to handle request/response for clients. This controller class will communicate between model class and the view file.

Create a file LeftJoinController.php under application/controllers folder with below source code.


defined('BASEPATH') OR exit('No direct script access allowed');

class LeftJoinController extends CI_Controller {
	function __construct() {
	public function index()	{
		$data['blogs'] = $this->leftjoinmodel->left_outer_join();
        $this->load->view('left_join_view', $data);

Creating View File

Create a view file left_join_view.php under application/views which will be used to display blogs and associated comments for blogs.

defined('BASEPATH') OR exit('No direct script access allowed');
?><!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
	<meta charset="utf-8">
	<title>Welcome to CodeIgniter Left Outer Join Example</title>

	<style type="text/css">

	::selection { background-color: #E13300; color: white; }
	::-moz-selection { background-color: #E13300; color: white; }

	body {
		background-color: #fff;
		margin: 40px;
		font: 13px/20px normal Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;
		color: #4F5155;

	a {
		color: #003399;
		background-color: transparent;
		font-weight: normal;

	h1 {
		color: #444;
		background-color: transparent;
		border-bottom: 1px solid #D0D0D0;
		font-size: 19px;
		font-weight: normal;
		margin: 0 0 14px 0;
		padding: 14px 15px 10px 15px;

	code {
		font-family: Consolas, Monaco, Courier New, Courier, monospace;
		font-size: 12px;
		background-color: #f9f9f9;
		border: 1px solid #D0D0D0;
		color: #002166;
		display: block;
		margin: 14px 0 14px 0;
		padding: 12px 10px 12px 10px;

	#body {
		margin: 0 15px 0 15px;

	p.footer {
		text-align: right;
		font-size: 11px;
		border-top: 1px solid #D0D0D0;
		line-height: 32px;
		padding: 0 10px 0 10px;
		margin: 20px 0 0 0;

	#container {
		margin: 10px;
		border: 1px solid #D0D0D0;
		box-shadow: 0 0 8px #D0D0D0;

<div id="container">
	<h1>CodeIgniter Left Outer Join Example</h1>            
	<div id="body">
		foreach ($blogs as $blog) {
			<div class="post">
				<h2 class="title"><?php echo $blog->blog_title; ?></h2>
				<p class="meta">
					echo $blog->blog_date;
				<div class="entry">
					<p><?php echo $blog->blog_content; ?></p>
		<p>    <strong>Comment on <?php echo $blog->comment_date; ?> :</strong> <?php echo $blog->comment_text; ?></p>


Configuring Route

Now modify application/config/routes.php file for configuring route with our controller class.

$route['default_controller'] = 'LeftJoinController';

Testing the Application

Make sure your Apache 2.4 server is running and codeigniter join application is deployed.

Hit the URL http://localhost/codeIgniter-left-outer-join/index.php, you will see below output on the browser:

codeigniter left outer join example

In the above output image for few blogs you will see comment date and for other blogs you will not see any comment dates because in left outer join all records from left table and matching records from right table are fetched.

Source Code

You can download source code.

Thanks for reading.


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