Connectors and APIs Manual  /  Introduction

Chapter 1 Introduction

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

MySQL Connectors

Oracle develops a number of connectors:

  • Connector/C is a standalone replacement for the MySQL Client Library (libmysqlclient), to be used for C applications.

  • Connector/C++ enables C++ applications to connect to MySQL.

  • Connector/J provides driver support for connecting to MySQL from Java applications using the standard Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) API.

  • Connector/NET enables developers to create .NET applications that connect to MySQL. Connector/NET implements a fully functional ADO.NET interface and provides support for use with ADO.NET aware tools. Applications that use Connector/NET can be written in any supported .NET language.

    MySQL for Visual Studio works with Connector/NET and Microsoft Visual Studio 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2017. MySQL for Visual Studio provides access to MySQL objects and data from Visual Studio. As a Visual Studio package, it integrates directly into Server Explorer providing the ability to create new connections and work with MySQL database objects.

  • Connector/ODBC provides driver support for connecting to MySQL using the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) API. Support is available for ODBC connectivity from Windows, Unix, and OS X platforms.

  • Connector/Python provides driver support for connecting to MySQL from Python applications using an API that is compliant with the Python DB API version 2.0. No additional Python modules or MySQL client libraries are required.

The MySQL C API

For direct access to using MySQL natively within a C application, the C API provides low-level access to the MySQL client/server protocol through the libmysqlclient client library. This is the primary method used to connect to an instance of the MySQL server, and is used both by MySQL command-line clients and many of the MySQL Connectors and third-party APIs detailed here.

libmysqlclient is included in MySQL distributions and in Connector/C distributions.

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 MySQL 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:

  • Using libmysqlclient offers complete compatibility with MySQL because it uses the same libraries as the MySQL client applications. However, the feature set is limited to the implementation and interfaces exposed through libmysqlclient and the performance may be lower as data is copied between the native language, and the MySQL API components.

  • Native drivers are an implementation of the MySQL network protocol entirely within the host language or environment. Native drivers are fast, as there is less copying of data between components, and they can offer advanced functionality not available through the standard MySQL API. Native drivers are also easier for end users to build and deploy because no copy of the MySQL client libraries is needed to build the native driver components.

MySQL APIs and Interfaces lists many of the libraries and interfaces available for MySQL.