Maybe this is off topic, and please VTC if so, but I couldn't think of a better place to ask.

Is there a common term for a table without any other structures (indexes, statistics, etc) - something like a "naked" table? I use the term heap but understand it just to apply to nonclustered tables, rather than to tables without other support - a heap can still have other indexes associated with it.

I had copied some tables into a new database but didn't bring over the partition scheme, indexes, triggers, or anything else - it made me wonder if there's a term for just the data itself (and minimal schema needed to hold it).


We refer to these as heaps in SQL Server. I understand that Non-Clustered Indexes complicate things, but that's their name.

For what it's worth, on many RDBMS platforms, with auto statistics enabled, there's very little chance a table will not have statistics on it.

I'd be comfortable calling these data structures unindexed heaps.


From this Wiki article that references Edgar Codd's work (under Terminology):

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This definition says nothing about indexes, triggers, statistics, etc.

Sql Server, and other vendors, have decided to 'extend' on this definition where a 'table' without a clustered index is called a heap, but the definition 'starts' with a 'table'.

A fellow Stack Exchange user (Phil) did a bunch of research (where he was participating in this question thread about the differences between rows and records) and references the document "Information technology — Database languages — SQL Part 2: Foundation (SQL/Foundation)", which defines the ANSI standard for SQL as implemented by all major RDBMSes. This document states:

A table is a collection of zero or more rows where each row is a sequence of one or more column values.

Again, there is no reference to 'supporting' structures such as indexes (clustered or not), statistics, etc. It even points out the fact that there doesn't have to be any data involved either (zero or more rows).

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