Opened 9 months ago

Last modified 8 months ago

#29338 new Bug

Can't use OuterRef in union Subquery

Reported by: Matthew Pava Owned by: nobody
Component: Database layer (models, ORM) Version: 2.0
Severity: Normal Keywords:
Cc: Jeff Triage Stage: Accepted
Has patch: no Needs documentation: no
Needs tests: no Patch needs improvement: no
Easy pickings: no UI/UX: no


When you make a QuerySet using the union method or the | operator, the QuerySet passed into the union method cannot reference OuterRef even when wrapped with Subquery.

For example:

cls = Document.objects.filter(
).values('checklist__customer', 'created')

ots = Document.objects.filter(
).values('ownershiptransfer__ship_target__contact', 'created')

return self.annotate(

Returns this error:

This queryset contains a reference to an outer query and may only be used in a subquery.

I get the same error with this statement:

return self.annotate(
    owner=Subquery((cls | ots).values('owner')[:1])

(As an aside, I also get an error when I try to apply an order_by clause.)

Change History (4)

comment:1 Changed 9 months ago by Tim Graham

Are you sure that generating some sensible SQL for this queryset is possible?

comment:2 Changed 9 months ago by Matthew Pava

Yes, it is possible to generate SQL for this query. I tried it myself. ...I suppose "sensible" is a subjective term.

I just tried using an __in lookup, but that was getting to be a struggle.

Maybe Subquery wasn't originally intended to be used with unions, but I think it would be a good feature to have, especially in the discussion of CTEs (common table expressions).

comment:3 Changed 9 months ago by Tim Graham

Triage Stage: UnreviewedAccepted

comment:4 Changed 8 months ago by Jeff

Cc: Jeff added
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