Chapter 26 Connectors and APIs

Table of Contents

26.1 MySQL Connector/C++
26.2 MySQL Connector/J
26.3 MySQL Connector/NET
26.4 MySQL Connector/ODBC
26.5 MySQL Connector/Python
26.6 libmysqld, the Embedded MySQL Server Library
26.6.1 Compiling Programs with libmysqld
26.6.2 Restrictions When Using the Embedded MySQL Server
26.6.3 Options with the Embedded Server
26.6.4 Embedded Server Examples
26.7 MySQL C API
26.9 MySQL Perl API
26.10 MySQL Python API
26.11 MySQL Ruby APIs
26.11.1 The MySQL/Ruby API
26.11.2 The Ruby/MySQL API
26.12 MySQL Tcl API
26.13 MySQL Eiffel Wrapper

MySQL Connectors provide connectivity to the MySQL server for client programs. APIs provide low-level access to MySQL resources using either the classic MySQL protocol or X Protocol. Both Connectors and the APIs enable you to connect and execute MySQL statements from another language or environment, including ODBC, Java (JDBC), C++, Python, PHP, Perl, Ruby, and native C and embedded MySQL instances.

MySQL Connectors

Oracle develops a number of connectors:


For direct access to using MySQL natively within a C application, there are two methods:

See also MySQL C API Implementations.

To access MySQL from a C application, or to build an interface to MySQL for a language not supported by the Connectors or APIs in this chapter, the C API is where to start. A number of programmer's utilities are available to help with the process; see Section 4.7, “Program Development Utilities”.

Third-Party MySQL APIs

The remaining APIs described in this chapter provide an interface to MySQL from specific application languages. These third-party solutions are not developed or supported by Oracle. Basic information on their usage and abilities is provided here for reference purposes only.

All the third-party language APIs are developed using one of two methods, using libmysqlclient or by implementing a native driver. The two solutions offer different benefits:

Table 26.1, “MySQL APIs and Interfaces” lists many of the libraries and interfaces available for MySQL.

Table 26.1 MySQL APIs and Interfaces

Environment API Type Notes
Ada GNU Ada MySQL Bindings libmysqlclient See MySQL Bindings for GNU Ada
C C API libmysqlclient See MySQL 5.7 C API Developer Guide.
C++ Connector/C++ libmysqlclient See MySQL Connector/C++ 8.0 Developer Guide.
MySQL++ libmysqlclient See MySQL++ website.
MySQL wrapped libmysqlclient See MySQL wrapped.
Cocoa MySQL-Cocoa libmysqlclient Compatible with the Objective-C Cocoa environment. See
D MySQL for D libmysqlclient See MySQL for D.
Eiffel Eiffel MySQL libmysqlclient See Section 26.13, “MySQL Eiffel Wrapper”.
Erlang erlang-mysql-driver libmysqlclient See erlang-mysql-driver.
Haskell Haskell MySQL Bindings Native Driver See Brian O'Sullivan's pure Haskell MySQL bindings.
hsql-mysql libmysqlclient See MySQL driver for Haskell.
Java/JDBC Connector/J Native Driver See MySQL Connector/J 5.1 Developer Guide.
Kaya MyDB libmysqlclient See MyDB.
Lua LuaSQL libmysqlclient See LuaSQL.
.NET/Mono Connector/NET Native Driver See MySQL Connector/NET Developer Guide.
Objective Caml OBjective Caml MySQL Bindings libmysqlclient See MySQL Bindings for Objective Caml.
Octave Database bindings for GNU Octave libmysqlclient See Database bindings for GNU Octave.
ODBC Connector/ODBC libmysqlclient See MySQL Connector/ODBC Developer Guide.
Perl DBI/DBD::mysql libmysqlclient See Section 26.9, “MySQL Perl API”.
Net::MySQL Native Driver See Net::MySQL at CPAN
PHP mysql, ext/mysql interface (deprecated) libmysqlclient See Original MySQL API.
mysqli, ext/mysqli interface libmysqlclient See MySQL Improved Extension.
PDO_MYSQL libmysqlclient See MySQL Functions (PDO_MYSQL).
PDO mysqlnd Native Driver
Python Connector/Python Native Driver See MySQL Connector/Python Developer Guide.
Python Connector/Python C Extension libmysqlclient See MySQL Connector/Python Developer Guide.
MySQLdb libmysqlclient See Section 26.10, “MySQL Python API”.
Ruby MySQL/Ruby libmysqlclient Uses libmysqlclient. See Section 26.11.1, “The MySQL/Ruby API”.
Ruby/MySQL Native Driver See Section 26.11.2, “The Ruby/MySQL API”.
Scheme Myscsh libmysqlclient See Myscsh.
SPL sql_mysql libmysqlclient See sql_mysql for SPL.
Tcl MySQLtcl libmysqlclient See Section 26.12, “MySQL Tcl API”.

26.1 MySQL Connector/C++

The MySQL Connector/C++ manual is published in standalone form, not as part of the MySQL Reference Manual. For information, see these documents:

26.2 MySQL Connector/J

The MySQL Connector/J manual is published in standalone form, not as part of the MySQL Reference Manual. For information, see these documents:

26.3 MySQL Connector/NET

The MySQL Connector/NET manual is published in standalone form, not as part of the MySQL Reference Manual. For information, see these documents:

26.4 MySQL Connector/ODBC

The MySQL Connector/ODBC manual is published in standalone form, not as part of the MySQL Reference Manual. For information, see these documents:

26.5 MySQL Connector/Python

The MySQL Connector/Python manual is published in standalone form, not as part of the MySQL Reference Manual. For information, see these documents:

26.6 libmysqld, the Embedded MySQL Server Library

The embedded MySQL server library makes it possible to run a full-featured MySQL server inside a client application. The main benefits are increased speed and more simple management for embedded applications.


The libmysqld embedded server library is deprecated as of MySQL 5.7.19 and is removed in MySQL 8.0.

The embedded server library is based on the client/server version of MySQL, which is written in C/C++. Consequently, the embedded server also is written in C/C++. There is no embedded server available in other languages.

The API is identical for the embedded MySQL version and the client/server version. To change a threaded application to use the embedded library, you normally only have to add calls to the following functions.

Table 26.2 MySQL Embedded Server Library Functions


When to Call


Call it before any other MySQL function is called, preferably early in the main() function.


Call it before your program exits.


Call it in each thread you create that accesses MySQL.

mysql_thread_end() Call it before calling pthread_exit().

Then, link your code with libmysqld.a instead of libmysqlclient.a. To ensure binary compatibility between your application and the server library, always compile your application against headers for the same series of MySQL that was used to compile the server library. For example, if libmysqld was compiled against MySQL 5.6 headers, do not compile your application against MySQL 5.7 headers, or vice versa.

Because the mysql_library_xxx() functions are also included in libmysqlclient.a, you can change between the embedded and the client/server version by just linking your application with the right library. See mysql_library_init().

One difference between the embedded server and the standalone server is that for the embedded server, authentication for connections is disabled by default.

26.6.1 Compiling Programs with libmysqld

In precompiled binary MySQL distributions that include libmysqld, the embedded server library, MySQL builds the library using the appropriate vendor compiler if there is one.

To get a libmysqld library if you build MySQL from source yourself, you should configure MySQL with the -DWITH_EMBEDDED_SERVER=1 option. See Section 2.9.7, “MySQL Source-Configuration Options”.

When you link your program with libmysqld, you must also include the system-specific pthread libraries and some libraries that the MySQL server uses. You can get the full list of libraries by executing mysql_config --libmysqld-libs.

The correct flags for compiling and linking a threaded program must be used, even if you do not directly call any thread functions in your code.

To compile a C program to include the necessary files to embed the MySQL server library into an executable version of a program, the compiler needs to know where to find various files and needs instructions on how to compile the program. The following example shows how a program could be compiled from the command line, assuming that you are using gcc, use the GNU C compiler:

gcc mysql_test.c -o mysql_test \
`/usr/local/mysql/bin/mysql_config --include --libmysqld-libs`

Immediately following the gcc command is the name of the C program source file. After it, the -o option is given to indicate that the file name that follows is the name that the compiler is to give to the output file, the compiled program. The next line of code tells the compiler to obtain the location of the include files and libraries and other settings for the system on which it is compiled. The mysql_config command is contained in backticks, not single quotation marks.

On some non-gcc platforms, the embedded library depends on C++ runtime libraries and linking against the embedded library might result in missing-symbol errors. To solve this, link using a C++ compiler or explicitly list the required libraries on the link command line.

26.6.2 Restrictions When Using the Embedded MySQL Server

The embedded server has the following limitations:

  • No user-defined functions (UDFs).

  • No stack trace on core dump.

  • You cannot set this up as a source or a replica (no replication).

  • Very large result sets may be unusable on low memory systems.

  • You cannot connect to an embedded server from an outside process with sockets or TCP/IP. However, you can connect to an intermediate application, which in turn can connect to an embedded server on the behalf of a remote client or outside process.

  • libmysqld does not support encrypted connections. An implication is that if an application linked against libmysqld establishes a connection to a remote server, the connection cannot be encrypted.

  • InnoDB is not reentrant in the embedded server and cannot be used for multiple connections, either successively or simultaneously.

  • The Event Scheduler is not available. Because of this, the event_scheduler system variable is disabled.

  • The Performance Schema is not available.

  • The embedded server cannot share the same secure_file_priv directory with another server. As of MySQL 5.7.8, the default value for this directory can be set at build time with the INSTALL_SECURE_FILE_PRIV_EMBEDDEDDIR CMake option.

Some of these limitations can be changed by editing the mysql_embed.h include file and recompiling MySQL.

26.6.3 Options with the Embedded Server

Any options that may be given with the mysqld server daemon, may be used with an embedded server library. Server options may be given in an array as an argument to the mysql_library_init(), which initializes the server. They also may be given in an option file like my.cnf. To specify an option file for a C program, use the --defaults-file option as one of the elements of the second argument of the mysql_library_init() function. See mysql_library_init(), for more information on the mysql_library_init() function.

Using option files can make it easier to switch between a client/server application and one where MySQL is embedded. Put common options under the [server] group. These are read by both MySQL versions. Client/server-specific options should go under the [mysqld] section. Put options specific to the embedded MySQL server library in the [embedded] section. Options specific to applications go under section labeled [ApplicationName_SERVER]. See Section, “Using Option Files”.

26.6.4 Embedded Server Examples

These two example programs should work without any changes on a Linux or FreeBSD system. For other operating systems, minor changes are needed, mostly with file paths. These examples are designed to give enough details for you to understand the problem, without the clutter that is a necessary part of a real application. The first example is very straightforward. The second example is a little more advanced with some error checking. The first is followed by a command-line entry for compiling the program. The second is followed by a GNUmake file that may be used for compiling instead.

Example 1


#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <stdarg.h>
#include "mysql.h"

MYSQL *mysql;
MYSQL_RES *results;
MYSQL_ROW record;

static char *server_options[] = \
       { "mysql_test", "--defaults-file=my.cnf", NULL };
int num_elements = (sizeof(server_options) / sizeof(char *)) - 1;

static char *server_groups[] = { "libmysqld_server",
                                 "libmysqld_client", NULL };

int main(void)
   mysql_library_init(num_elements, server_options, server_groups);
   mysql = mysql_init(NULL);
   mysql_options(mysql, MYSQL_READ_DEFAULT_GROUP, "libmysqld_client");

   mysql_real_connect(mysql, NULL,NULL,NULL, "database1", 0,NULL,0);

   mysql_query(mysql, "SELECT column1, column2 FROM table1");

   results = mysql_store_result(mysql);

   while((record = mysql_fetch_row(results))) {
      printf("%s - %s \n", record[0], record[1]);


   return 0;

Here is the command line for compiling the above program:

gcc test1_libmysqld.c -o test1_libmysqld \
 `/usr/local/mysql/bin/mysql_config --include --libmysqld-libs`

Example 2

To try the example, create an test2_libmysqld directory at the same level as the MySQL source directory. Save the test2_libmysqld.c source and the GNUmakefile in the directory, and run GNU make from inside the test2_libmysqld directory.


 * A simple example client, using the embedded MySQL server library

#include <mysql.h>
#include <stdarg.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

MYSQL *db_connect(const char *dbname);
void db_disconnect(MYSQL *db);
void db_do_query(MYSQL *db, const char *query);

const char *server_groups[] = {
  "test2_libmysqld_SERVER", "embedded", "server", NULL

main(int argc, char **argv)
  MYSQL *one, *two;

  /* mysql_library_init() must be called before any other mysql
   * functions.
   * You can use mysql_library_init(0, NULL, NULL), and it
   * initializes the server using groups = {
   *   "server", "embedded", NULL
   *  }.
   * In your $HOME/.my.cnf file, you probably want to put:

language = /path/to/source/of/mysql/sql/share/english

   * You could, of course, modify argc and argv before passing
   * them to this function.  Or you could create new ones in any
   * way you like.  But all of the arguments in argv (except for
   * argv[0], which is the program name) should be valid options
   * for the MySQL server.
   * If you link this client against the normal mysqlclient
   * library, this function is just a stub that does nothing.
  mysql_library_init(argc, argv, (char **)server_groups);

  one = db_connect("test");
  two = db_connect(NULL);

  db_do_query(one, "SHOW TABLE STATUS");
  db_do_query(two, "SHOW DATABASES");


  /* This must be called after all other mysql functions */


static void
die(MYSQL *db, char *fmt, ...)
  va_list ap;
  va_start(ap, fmt);
  vfprintf(stderr, fmt, ap);
  (void)putc('\n', stderr);
  if (db)

db_connect(const char *dbname)
  MYSQL *db = mysql_init(NULL);
  if (!db)
    die(db, "mysql_init failed: no memory");
   * Notice that the client and server use separate group names.
   * This is critical, because the server does not accept the
   * client's options, and vice versa.
  mysql_options(db, MYSQL_READ_DEFAULT_GROUP, "test2_libmysqld_CLIENT");
  if (!mysql_real_connect(db, NULL, NULL, NULL, dbname, 0, NULL, 0))
    die(db, "mysql_real_connect failed: %s", mysql_error(db));

  return db;

db_disconnect(MYSQL *db)

db_do_query(MYSQL *db, const char *query)
  if (mysql_query(db, query) != 0)
    goto err;

  if (mysql_field_count(db) > 0)
    MYSQL_RES   *res;
    MYSQL_ROW    row, end_row;
    int num_fields;

    if (!(res = mysql_store_result(db)))
      goto err;
    num_fields = mysql_num_fields(res);
    while ((row = mysql_fetch_row(res)))
      (void)fputs(">> ", stdout);
      for (end_row = row + num_fields; row < end_row; ++row)
        (void)printf("%s\t", row ? (char*)*row : "NULL");
      (void)fputc('\n', stdout);
    (void)fputc('\n', stdout);
    (void)printf("Affected rows: %lld\n", mysql_affected_rows(db));


  die(db, "db_do_query failed: %s [%s]", mysql_error(db), query);


# This assumes the MySQL software is installed in /usr/local/mysql
inc      := /usr/local/mysql/include/mysql
lib      := /usr/local/mysql/lib

# If you have not installed the MySQL software yet, try this instead
#inc      := $(HOME)/mysql-5.7/include
#lib      := $(HOME)/mysql-5.7/libmysqld

CC       := gcc
CFLAGS   := -g -W -Wall
LDFLAGS  := -static
# You can change -lmysqld to -lmysqlclient to use the
# client/server library
LDLIBS    = -L$(lib) -lmysqld -lm -ldl -lcrypt

ifneq (,$(shell grep FreeBSD /COPYRIGHT 2>/dev/null))
# FreeBSD
LDFLAGS += -pthread
# Assume Linux
LDLIBS += -lpthread

# This works for simple one-file test programs
sources := $(wildcard *.c)
objects := $(patsubst %c,%o,$(sources))
targets := $(basename $(sources))

all: $(targets)

        rm -f $(targets) $(objects) *.core

26.7 MySQL C API

The MySQL C API Developer Guide is published in standalone form, not as part of the MySQL Reference Manual. See MySQL 5.7 C API Developer Guide.


The MySQL PHP API manual is now published in standalone form, not as part of the MySQL Reference Manual. See MySQL and PHP.

26.9 MySQL Perl API

The Perl DBI module provides a generic interface for database access. You can write a DBI script that works with many different database engines without change. To use DBI with MySQL, install the following:

  1. The DBI module.

  2. The DBD::mysql module. This is the DataBase Driver (DBD) module for Perl.

  3. Optionally, the DBD module for any other type of database server you want to access.

Perl DBI is the recommended Perl interface. It replaces an older interface called mysqlperl, which should be considered obsolete.

These sections contain information about using Perl with MySQL and writing MySQL applications in Perl:

DBI information is available at the command line, online, or in printed form:

  • Once you have the DBI and DBD::mysql modules installed, you can get information about them at the command line with the perldoc command:

    shell> perldoc DBI
    shell> perldoc DBI::FAQ
    shell> perldoc DBD::mysql

    You can also use pod2man, pod2html, and so on to translate this information into other formats.

  • For online information about Perl DBI, visit the DBI website, That site hosts a general DBI mailing list.

  • For printed information, the official DBI book is Programming the Perl DBI (Alligator Descartes and Tim Bunce, O'Reilly & Associates, 2000). Information about the book is available at the DBI website,

26.10 MySQL Python API

MySQLdb is a third-party driver that provides MySQL support for Python, compliant with the Python DB API version 2.0. It can be found at

The new MySQL Connector/Python component provides an interface to the same Python API, and is built into the MySQL Server and supported by Oracle. See MySQL Connector/Python Developer Guide for details on the Connector, as well as coding guidelines for Python applications and sample Python code.

26.11 MySQL Ruby APIs

Two APIs are available for Ruby programmers developing MySQL applications:

For background and syntax information about the Ruby language, see Ruby Programming Language.

26.11.1 The MySQL/Ruby API

The MySQL/Ruby module provides access to MySQL databases using Ruby through libmysqlclient.

For information on installing the module, and the functions exposed, see MySQL/Ruby.

26.11.2 The Ruby/MySQL API

The Ruby/MySQL module provides access to MySQL databases using Ruby through a native driver interface using the MySQL network protocol.

For information on installing the module, and the functions exposed, see Ruby/MySQL.

26.12 MySQL Tcl API

MySQLtcl is a simple API for accessing a MySQL database server from the Tcl programming language. It can be found at

26.13 MySQL Eiffel Wrapper

Eiffel MySQL is an interface to the MySQL database server using the Eiffel programming language, written by Michael Ravits. It can be found at