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MySQL Shell 8.0  /  MySQL Shell Features

Chapter 1 MySQL Shell Features

The following features are available in MySQL Shell.

Supported Languages

MySQL Shell processes code in the following languages: JavaScript, Python and SQL. Any entered code is processed as one of these languages, based on the language that is currently active. There are also specific MySQL Shell commands, prefixed with \, which enable you to configure MySQL Shell regardless of the currently selected language. For more information see Section 3.1, “MySQL Shell Commands”.

Interactive Code Execution

MySQL Shell provides an interactive code execution mode, where you type code at the MySQL Shell prompt and each entered statement is processed, with the result of the processing printed onscreen. Unicode text input is supported if the terminal in use supports it. Color terminals are supported.

Multiple-line code can be written using a command, enabling MySQL Shell to cache multiple lines and then execute them as a single statement. For more information see Multiple-line Support.

Batch Code Execution

In addition to the interactive execution of code, MySQL Shell can also take code from different sources and process it. This method of processing code in a noninteractive way is called Batch Execution.

As batch execution mode is intended for script processing of a single language, it is limited to having minimal non-formatted output and disabling the execution of commands. To avoid these limitations, use the --interactive command-line option, which tells MySQL Shell to execute the input as if it were an interactive session. In this mode the input is processed line by line just as if each line were typed in an interactive session. For more information see Section 5.5, “Batch Code Execution”.

Supported APIs

MySQL Shell includes the following APIs implemented in JavaScript and Python which you can use to develop code that interacts with MySQL.

  • The X DevAPI enables you to work with both relational and document data when MySQL Shell is connected to a MySQL server using the X Protocol. For more information, see Using MySQL as a Document Store. For documentation on the concepts and usage of X DevAPI, see X DevAPI User Guide.

  • The AdminAPI enables you to work with InnoDB cluster, which provides an integrated solution for high availability and scalability using InnoDB based MySQL databases, without requiring advanced MySQL expertise. See InnoDB Cluster.

X Protocol Support

MySQL Shell is designed to provide an integrated command-line client for all MySQL products which support X Protocol. The development features of MySQL Shell are designed for sessions using the X Protocol. MySQL Shell can also connect to MySQL Servers that do not support the X Protocol using the legacy MySQL Protocol. A minimal set of features from the X DevAPI are available for sessions created using the legacy MySQL protocol.


You can define extensions to the base functionality of MySQL Shell in the form of reports and extension objects. Reports and extension objects can be created using JavaScript or Python, and can be used regardless of the active MySQL Shell language. You can persist reports and extension objects in plugins that are loaded automatically when MySQL Shell starts. See Chapter 6, Extending MySQL Shell for more information.


MySQL Shell includes the following utilities for working with MySQL:

  • An upgrade checker utility to verify whether MySQL server instances are ready for upgrade. Use util.checkForServerUpgrade() to access the upgrade checker.

  • A JSON import utility to import JSON documents to a MySQL Server collection or table. Use util.importJSON() to access the import utility.

  • A parallel table import utility that splits up a single data file and uses multiple threads to load the chunks into a MySQL table.

See Chapter 7, MySQL Shell Utilities for more information.

API Command Line Integration

MySQL Shell exposes much of its functionality using an API command syntax that enables you to easily integrate mysqlsh with other tools. For example you can create bash scripts which administer an InnoDB cluster with this functionality. Use the mysqlsh [options] -- shell_object object_method [method_arguments] syntax to pass operations directly to MySQL Shell global objects, bypassing the REPL interface. See Section 5.7, “API Command Line Interface”.

Output Formats

MySQL Shell can return results in table, tabbed, or vertical format, or as JSON output. To help integrate MySQL Shell with external tools, you can activate JSON wrapping for all output when you start MySQL Shell from the command line. For more information see Section 5.6, “Output Formats”.

Logging and Debug

MySQL Shell can log information about the execution process at your chosen level of detail. Logging information can be sent to any combination of an application log file, an additional viewable destination, and the console. For more information see Chapter 8, MySQL Shell Logging and Debug.

Global Session

Interaction with a MySQL server is done through a Session object. For Python and JavaScript, a Session can be created through the getSession function of the mysqlx module. If a session is created in JavaScript mode using any of these methods, it is available only in JavaScript mode. The same happens if the session is created in Python mode. These sessions cannot be used in SQL mode.

For SQL Mode, the concept of Global Session is supported by MySQL Shell. A Global Session is created when the connection information is passed to MySQL Shell using command options, or by using the \connect command.

The Global Session is used to execute statements in SQL mode and the same session is available in both Python or JavaScript modes. When a Global Session is created, a variable called session is set in the scripting languages, so you can execute code in the different languages by switching the active mode.

For more information, see Section 4.4, “MySQL Shell Sessions”.