MySQL vs MySQLi: Which One Performs Better?

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

MySQL and MySQLi are relational database management systems. They both store the data in tables using rows and columns, and they relate or connect it to the other data using normalization and constraints. The MySQL database management system is used on Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, YouTube, etc. And MySQLi is a relational database driver that offers an interface to MySQL databases.

MySQL and MySQLi are almost the same except for the extra ‘i’ that stands for improvement. MySQLi is generally used in PHP scripting languages and is an object-oriented method. Now we’re going to discuss the differences between MySQL and MySQLi so that you can understand them better and choose the right approach for your database management approach.


MySQL vs MySQLi: Database Management Systems

MySQL is a database management system. It is relational and full-fledged. MySQLi is not a database management system; rather, it is an extension of the MySQL interface. MySQLi uses the MySQL databases and their underlying architecture to work.

MySQL vs MySQLi: Programming Pattern

MySQL works in a procedural programming pattern, which means querying the database. The results of the query are believed to be the next step in the programming process. MySQLi works in both procedural and materialistic practice. When the users are migrating from the MySQL interface, they can use the procedural approach. But you can also work with the object-oriented approach, where the main aim is to find the resulting object.

The steps in the object-oriented system are about MySQLi connection objects, where the features and functions are combined within the object according to their purposes. However, when it comes to performance differences, there is no notable change between the two methods. That’s why anyone can choose any method they are comfortable with.

MySQL vs MySQLi: Interfaces

The MySQL command-line interface allows users to use SQL instructions as commands to implement tasks in the database. The results of the commands will be displayed as tables. There are graphical or programmatic interfaces for MySQLi, where you can use certain commands by using your mouse or keyboard and it will display the results in a result pane. By using the programmatic interface, you can write commands that expose APIs as codes.

MySQL vs MySQLi: Programming Languages

MySQL is written in C and C++, but it also supports other languages such as Java, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, and more. MySQLi was written in PHP and you can use MySQLi as a primary scripting language within PHP.

MySQL vs MySQLi: SQL Injection

MySQL is more vulnerable to SQL injection attacks than other databases and has been victimised in the past. SQL injection means hackers can enter malicious queries in the user input fields and later implement these queries on the server, which can compromise the security. But MySQLi prevents SQL injections. When an SQL query is entered in a user input field, it will return an error message and will not immediately implement the query.

MySQL vs MySQLi: Transactions

MySQL supports ACID transactions, which refer to atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability. These features guarantee secure and accurate transactions and also make sure that the data is not compromised. The MySQLi supports API transactions, which means that the transactions inside the MySQLi will be controlled by API validations. In MySQLi, there are APIs that will allow you to enable and disable the auto-commit mode, which will permit the user to commit a transaction or roll back a transaction.

MySQL vs MySQLi: Multiple Statements Support

MySQL enables the user to send multiple statements to the server simultaneously for execution. This approach saves the time of sending statements from the client to the server. When the results are returned from the server, they must be consumed by the client. MySQLi supports multiple statements in the MySQL database. They support the multi-query method for the MySQL connection object.

MySQL vs MySQLi: Framed Statements Support

MySQL database supports framed statements. A framed statement or prepared statement is applied during the execution of the same query several times with a more increased capability. There are two stages in the prepared statement: one is preparation and the other one is execution. When the statement is prepared, the server will create a complete compilation of the statement which means it will prepare the statement temple and assign it the required resources. That’s the reason you can execute this statement several times with higher efficiency. But when it comes to MySQLi, it will support prepared statements in the main MySQL database. This assistance is offered using prepare, bind param. and execute methods of the MySQLi connection object.

The Key Differences Between MySQL and MySQLi

Till now we were comparing MySQL with MySQLi but now it’s time to find out the major differences between these two:

  • MySQLi is not a database. This one is an upgraded performance of the MySQL database in terms of interface and functionality. This improved version relieves the developers from the querying assignment.
  • MySQLi offers object-oriented assistance to the fundamental MySQL database. This enables the programmers to create a connection object and execute all the tasks using methods in the connection object’s class. However, for the software programmes that combine the queries of the database that are CRUD functions, MySQL performs just as MySQLi does.
  • MySQLi has an extra SQL injection prevention method that MySQL lacks. MySQLi is compatible with all the functions of MySQL, but it has an extra advantage, which is using the APIs. The MySQL API gives MySQLi an extra advantage over MySQL because developers like APIs because they help them create their own queries for repetitive tasks. Moreover, MySQLi is more supported by the community because it supports various languages and is more helpful to PHP programmers than MySQL.

Other MySQLi Benefits

There are other advantages of MySQLi over MySQL that you must consider as well:

  • MySQLi features the mysqli_query() function that enables you to execute error-tending queries and reduces the chances of SQL projections or any other bugs.
  • The MySQLi API enables you to implement different queries using a single expression with the multi_query() function.

What are the pros and cons of MySQL’s changes?

We know of three modes that allow you to unite with the MySQL database server, and MySQLi is one of them. The other two ways are MySQL extensions that are more suitable for the older versions of SQL; they are also simple and support portable PHP data objects. Like the other extensions, MySQLi was also created for better and more complete interaction with the database server. My SQLi is most suitable for MySQL version 4.1.3 and the new editions that you can find in PHP version 5 and after. With the changes that MySQLi has experienced after being upgraded from MySQL, there have been some pros and cons that you should check out first.

There are certainly some advantages to MySQLi when it comes to communicating with the MySQL database. Some options are sometimes better for the users based on their confidential intentions and comfort. However, like most things, this one has situations as well.


  • The interface of MySQLi is similar to the earlier one of MySQL. This is a pro for the older users of the system, as they can facilitate the tasks more easily and use the object-oriented nature of MySQLi at the same time.
  • MySQLi comes with good maintenance and assistance, which helps create smooth transactions when it comes to safely and securely accessing a new interface.
  • As a user, you have the power to apply the new features that are available in the latest version of the MySQL server. Other similar platforms don’t allow users to take full advantage of MySQL’s most recent features.
  • Installation of MySQL is easy and automatic when you install the php5 MySQL package on a Windows or Linux server.


  • However, MySQL exclusively operates on MySQL databases. But if you work with PDO, then you can easily use it on other database systems such as Oracle, IBM, etc. Therefore, if you want to switch databases, MySQLi is not the most suitable option.


With MySQLi, MySQL has improved as with any software upgrade or improvement. If there are any bugs in the new version of the system, the developers will find a better future version where the users will be more satisfied. You can choose MySQLi over MySQL or vice versa depending on your requirements. Both versions are the same except for some updates and improvements in the latest version of MySQL.

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