The nonclustered-index tag should be used for questions regarding how to implement and troubleshoot supplemental indexes used primarily to enhance performance. The term nonclustered is typically a SQL Server-specific term.
- Nonclustered indexes have a structure separate from the data rows. A nonclustered index contains the nonclustered index key values and each key value entry has a pointer to the data row that contains the key value.
- The pointer from an index row in a nonclustered index to a data row is called a row locator. The structure of the row locator depends on whether the data pages are stored in a heap or a clustered table. For a heap, a row locator is a pointer to the row. For a clustered table, the row locator is the clustered index key.
- You can add nonkey columns to the leaf level of the nonclustered index to by-pass existing index key limits, 900 bytes and 16 key columns, and execute fully covered, indexed, queries. For more information, see Create Indexes with Included Columns.