Fixing the error: The multi-part identifier … could not be bound in Join statements


One of the most common errors that you might face in join statements is this error:

Msg 4104, Level 16, State 1, Line …

The multi-part identifier …… could not be bound.

The main reason for this error is that the source table cannot be found, for example if you have statement such as Table1.OrderDate, and then if you get error above, this means that Table1 cannot be found in the query. Sometimes you can see that source table exists in the query, but T-SQL cannot understand it, especially when you write join statements.

Consider join statement below:

select * from sales.SalesOrderHeader SH

left outer join sales.SalesOrderDetail SD

left outer join Production.Product P

on SD.ProductID=p.ProductID and SH.SalesOrderID=SD.SalesOrderID

With statement above you will get the error :

the reason is that SalesOrderHeader (SH) table is hidden from the third part of the join. and if you want to apply joining condition it will throw the error.

Resolution is:

put join condition of each join statement exactly after it. query below is showing fixed version of that statement:

select * from sales.SalesOrderHeader SH

left outer join sales.SalesOrderDetail SD

on SH.SalesOrderID=SD.SalesOrderID

left outer join Production.Product P

on SD.ProductID=p.ProductID

This statement used SH.SalesOrderID = SD.SalesOrderID right after the first join where the SH table is totally visible.

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Reza Rad
Trainer, Consultant, Mentor
Reza Rad is a Microsoft Regional Director, an Author, Trainer, Speaker and Consultant. He has a BSc in Computer engineering; he has more than 20 years’ experience in data analysis, BI, databases, programming, and development mostly on Microsoft technologies. He is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP for nine continuous years (from 2011 till now) for his dedication in Microsoft BI. Reza is an active blogger and co-founder of RADACAD. Reza is also co-founder and co-organizer of Difinity conference in New Zealand.
His articles on different aspects of technologies, especially on MS BI, can be found on his blog:
He wrote some books on MS SQL BI and also is writing some others, He was also an active member on online technical forums such as MSDN and Experts-Exchange, and was a moderator of MSDN SQL Server forums, and is an MCP, MCSE, and MCITP of BI. He is the leader of the New Zealand Business Intelligence users group. He is also the author of very popular book Power BI from Rookie to Rock Star, which is free with more than 1700 pages of content and the Power BI Pro Architecture published by Apress.
He is an International Speaker in Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft Business Applications Summit, Data Insight Summit, PASS Summit, SQL Saturday and SQL user groups. And He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer.
Reza’s passion is to help you find the best data solution, he is Data enthusiast.

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