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 http://php.net/mysql.
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
extension at http://php.net/mysqli. A helpful
article can be found at
The PHP distribution and documentation are available from the
PHP Web site. MySQL
mysqli extensions for the Windows operating
You can find information why you should preferably use the
extensions provided by MySQL on that page.