Clustered index vs Non clustered index


Clustered index vs Non clustered index structure

Clustered and Non clustered indexes are stored in a B – tree structure .

Clustered Index

  • Clustered index enforce the logical order. (Misconception: Clustered index does not enforce the physical order)


  • A table has only one clustered index because, the original table stored at the leaf level of the clustered index (Data pages).


  • When you create a primary key by default clustered index will be created internally. (If the table has clustered index already then the non clustered index will be created internally)


  • If the table does not have clustered index it’s called “Heap”

Non Clustered Index

  • Non clustered indexes are separate storage. (I.e. original table and an index stored separately)


  • The non clustered index does not enforce the logical order. The physical order of the rows is not the same as the index order.


  • A table has 999 non clustered indexes in SQL-2008, 249 non clustered indexes prior to 2008.


  • When you create a unique key by default non clustered index will be created internally.

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  • Anonymous


    Nice explanation…

    But, In Clustered Index (4th Point) – has some Changes to be done…

    CLUSTERED Index will be created by default When you create a PRIMARY KEY on that table – "Only If the table already doesn't have CLUSTERED INDEX".

    If the table already have any CLUSTERED Index then, The PRIMARY KEY will be created as a NON-CLUSTERED Primary….

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