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PHP is a server-side, HTML-embedded scripting language that may be used to create dynamic Web pages. It is available for most operating systems and Web servers, and can access most common databases, including MySQL. PHP may be run as a separate program or compiled as a module for use with the Apache Web server.

PHP actually provides two different MySQL API extensions:

  • mysql: Available for PHP versions 4 and 5, this extension is intended for use with MySQL versions prior to MySQL 4.1. This extension does not support the improved authentication protocol used in MySQL 5.1, nor does it support prepared statements or multiple statements. If you wish to use this extension with MySQL 5.1, you will likely want to configure the MySQL server to use the --old-passwords option (see Section A.2.3, “Client does not support authentication protocol). This extension is documented on the PHP Web site at

  • mysqli - Stands for “MySQL, Improved”; this extension is available only in PHP 5. It is intended for use with MySQL 4.1.1 and later. This extension fully supports the authentication protocol used in MySQL 5.1, as well as the Prepared Statements and Multiple Statements APIs. In addition, this extension provides an advanced, object-oriented programming interface. You can read the documentation for the mysqli extension at A helpful article can be found at

The PHP distribution and documentation are available from the PHP Web site. MySQL provides the mysql and mysqli extensions for the Windows operating system on You can find information why you should preferably use the extensions provided by MySQL on that page.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire