Clustered Index

What Does Clustered Index Mean?

A clustered index is a type of index where the table records are physically re-ordered to match the index.

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Clustered indexes are efficient on columns that are searched for a range of values. After the row with first value is found using a clustered index, rows with subsequent index values are guaranteed to be physically adjacent, thus providing faster access for a user query or an application.

Techopedia Explains Clustered Index

In other words, a clustered index stores the actual data, where a non-clustered index is a pointer to the data. In most DBMSs, you can only have one clustered index per table, though there are systems that support multiple clusters (DB2 being an example).

Like a regular index that is stored unsorted in a database table, a clustered index can be a composite index, such as a concatenation of first name and last name in a table of personal information.

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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…