Assuming there is no performance difference, which is my general understanding, I prefer the JOIN syntax; it makes it easier for me to organize and display join criteria.
For instance, I frequently see something like this (actually, this is cleaned-up compared to what I usually see):
Here’s the same query using the JOIN style:
from dbo.tblTable1 t1,
Notice how the join criteria is separated and associated with the table on-which the join is based. With the comma style, you have to read through every one of the where criteria to make sure you are not missing any join criteria. And, many times, I run across queries using the comma style, where all of the join criteria in the where clause are jumbled-up.
from dbo.tblTable1 t1
join dbo.tblTable2 t2 on
join dbo.tblTable3 t3 on
Even though it does not make a difference, it is best to, early-on, get into the habit of using a fundamentally sound coding style. Even in the examples I have shown above, in the select clause, it is better to have the commas separating the fields occur at the beginning of the new line rather then the end of the old line. But I got into a bad habit of doing it as above, early-on, and it is really difficult to change my style, even though I know the other style is better.
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