MySQL Connector/C is a client library that implements the C API for client/server communication. It is a standalone replacement for the MySQL client library shipped with MySQL Server distributions. See MySQL C API Implementations.
Reasons to use MySQL Connector/C:
If you need only the client library, MySQL Connector/C provides everything required. There is no need to compile or install the MySQL Server package, which is much larger.
MySQL Connector/C does not rely on the MySQL Server release cycle. Bug fixes and new features can be distributed independently of MySQL Server releases.
For documentation of the C API implemented by MySQL Connector/C, see MySQL C API.
For notes detailing the changes in each release of MySQL Connector/C, see MySQL Connector/C Release Notes.
The following discussion covers these topics:
MySQL Connector/C versions and supported platforms
MySQL Connector/C distribution contents
Obtaining and installing MySQL Connector/C
Building client programs that use MySQL Connector/C