Updated July 28, 2023
Difference Between MySQL and MySQLi
MySQL vs MySQLi are both Relational Database Management Systems. To recall, a Relational DBMS is modeled upon entities that represent real-world relationships. The system stores the data in a tabular format and establishes relationships with other data through normalization and constraints.
MySQL – MySQL is an open-source relational database management system. The most widely used database management system. Some heavyweight application names include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. It is procedural in approach.
MySQLi – MySQLi is a relational database driver providing an interface to MySQL databases. The letter i in MySQLi stands for improved. People mainly use it in the PHP scripting language. It follows an object-oriented approach.
Head to Head Comparison between MySQL vs MySQLi
Below are the top 9 differences between MySQL and MySQLi:
Key Differences between MySQL and MySQLi
Let us discuss some of the significant differences between MySQL and MySQLi.
- Essentially, MySQLi is not a database. It is an improved interface to access the functionality provided by the MySQL database. This improved interface eases the querying task for the developers.
- Another better thing about MySQLi is the object-oriented support of the underlying MySQL database. This helps programmers create connection objects and perform all the tasks through methods in the connection object’s class. At the same time, for applications where the queries to the database are simple CRUD operations, MySQL performs as well as MySQLi.
- Regarding security, MySQLi has a prevention mechanism for SQL Injection attacks. Also, MySQLi has support for all the functions of MySQL with the added advantage of APIs. The APIs give MySQLi an edge over MySQL. Developers often find using APIs easier than formulating their queries for redundant tasks. Additionally, excellent language compatibility and community support motivate PHP programmers to use MySQLi over MySQL.
MySQL vs MySQLi Comparison Table
Let us discuss the topmost comparisons between MySQL vs MySQLi.
|Basis of comparison||MySQL||MySQLi|
|DBMS||Yes – MySQL is a full-fledged relational database management system.||No – MySQLi is an extension to the interface provided by MySQL. It uses MySQL databases in the underlying architecture.|
|Programming Paradigm||Procedural – MySQL has a procedural approach to querying the database. The query’s result object is considered a step in the procedure.||Dual (Procedural & Object Oriented) – MySQLi has a dual approach. There is support for a procedural approach for users migrating from the MySQL interface. However, you are free to choose the object-oriented approach as well.
In the object-oriented approach, the focus is on the result object. Every step revolves around the MySQLi connection object. The functions are grouped around the object by their purpose.
However, there is no significant performance difference between both approaches. You are free to choose the interface you feel comfortable with.
|Interface||Command Line Interface – MySQL comes with a command-line interface. It is similar to a DOS console. The SQL instructions are given as commands, and the results are displayed in tabular format in the console.||Graphical / Programmatic Interface – MySQLi has a graphical interface to the underlying databases. You can give specific commands with button clicks, and the results are displayed on a separate results page.
A programmatic interface allows you to code the commands leveraging the exposed APIs.
|Written in Language||C and C++ – MySQL has been coded in C and C++ languages.||PHP – MySQLi is written in PHP and is primarily used with PHP scripting language only.|
|SQL Injection||Prone to SQL Injection attacks – MySQL has, time and again, suffered from SQL Injection attacks. A hacker injects malicious query in user input fields, which gets executed on the server. This leads to the compromise of data security.||Prevents SQL Injection – MySQLi has prevention mechanisms for SQL Injection attacks. When a SQL query is sent through a user input field, MySQLi returns an error and does not execute the query.|
|Transactions support||ACID transactions – MySQL’s InnoDB engine has full ACID transaction support. The ACID properties of a transaction stand for Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability. This ensures that every time, transactions are accurate and complete, and it does not compromise data integrity.||API support for MySQL transactions – MySQLi provides API support for the underlying MySQL transactions. This essentially means that transactions in MySQLi can be controlled through API calls. There are APIs for enabling or disabling the auto-commit mode, committing a transaction, or rolling back a transaction.|
|Multiple Statement Support||MySQL allows sending multiple statements to the server at once for execution. This saves the round-trip time from the client to the server. The client must consume all the result sets returned from the server.||Yes – MySQLi supports the multiple statements in the underlying MySQL database. This support is provided through the multi_query method of the MySQLi connection object.|
|Prepared Statement Support||MySQL database has prepared statements. A prepared statement executes the same query multiple times with higher efficiency.
The prepared statement has two stages – prepare and execute. When a statement is ready, the server does a compilation of the statement, prepares a statement template, and allocates necessary resources. During the execution phase, the client sends the actual parameters to the server, and the server executes the previously prepared template with the parameter values and allocated resources. Thus, the statement can be executed multiple times with higher efficiency.
|Yes – MySQLi has support for prepared statements in the underlying MySQL database. This support is provided through prepare, bind_param, and execute methods of the MySQLi connection object.|
|Released||23rd May 1995||Released in multiple packages in 2004-05|
MySQLi is definitely an improved version of MySQL. But choosing one depends on your technology stack. PHP greatly supports MySQLi, but the same is not the case with other languages. If your application is a part of the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/Python/PHP) stack, you are better off using MySQL. MySQL has excellent community support for issues arising from LAMP architecture. So, choose wisely and keep learning.
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