Nonclustered index with include vs nearly same Nonclustered index without; Multiple query coverage

I have two existing indices in a DB as below

  1. CREATE NONCLUSTERED INDEX IndexTable1 ON Table (fkAnothertable)

  2. CREATE NONCLUSTERED INDEX IndexTable2 ON Table (fkAnothertable) INCLUDE (pkTable)

I had a hunch and my research seems to point that any queries that call #1 would be satisfied by #2 and that #1 is wasteful. I couldn't find a definitive answer though.

Is this assumption correct and can I drop #1 and potentially improve performance?


Yes. #2 entirely covers #1 and possibly vice-versa in fact. Is pkTable your clustered index key? If so that will be included in #1 (at the key level because the non clustered index is not declared as unique).

If pkTable is not the clustering key then queries seeking on #1 will still be satisfied by #2 but #2 may occupy more pages thus making scans that would have used #1 a tad less efficient.

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