SQL, MySQL and MySQL i – Definition and Relation

What is SQL?

SQL stands for “Structured Query Language”. It was first introduced in 1974. SQL was initially developed at IBM by Donald D. Chamberlin and Raymond F. Boyce earlier 1970s it was initially called SEQUEL (Structured English Query Language).

It is a query language which is used to perform different operations in our databases like creating, modifying and deleting database or tables, inserting, deleting and updating existing records.

It is designed for managing data in the RDBMS (Relational Database Management System). SQL is based on relational algebra and tuple relational calculus. Many DBMS (Database Management System) like MySQL, MS Access, Sybase, SQL Server, Informix, and PostgreSQL use SQL as standard database language.

Remember SQL is just a query language, it is not a database. If you want to perform SQL queries then you must need to install any database such as MySQL, MS Access, Sybase, SQL Server, Informix and PostgreSQL, Oracle, etc.


What is MySQL?

MySQL is a free, open-source, Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). At first, MySQL was owned and sponsored by Swedish company MySQL AB, after that it was bought by Sun Microsystems (now Oracle Corporation). MySQL is a combination of two words “My”, the name of co-founder Monty Widenius’s (also known as Michael Widenius) daughter and “SQL”, the abbreviation of Structured Query Language.

The first version of MySQL appeared on 23 May 1995. MySQL uses a standard SQL (Structured Query Language) data language, as we also read in the above SQL section.

MySQL is cross-platform software which means it supports many operating systems with many programming languages like PHP, C, C++, Java, Perl, etc. It is mostly used with PHP, the most popular language for web development.

MySQL is very powerful that it can handle both small and large databases. It can hold up to 50 million rows or more in a table of a single database.  The default file size limit for a table is 4GB, but you can also increase this to a theoretical limit of 8 million terabytes (TB) as you need.

There are three main APIs when considering connecting to a MySQL database server:

  • PHP’s MySQL Extension. This is the main extension.
  • PHP’s MySQLi Extension
  • PHP’s Data Objects (PDO)


What is MySQLi?

MySQLi is one of the extensions of MySQL where ‘i’ stands for Improved. Hence, this is also known as the improved version of MySQL. It is a relational database driver used in the PHP scripting language to provide an interface with MySQL database.

MySQLi is an improved version of the older PHP MySQL driver, which offers various benefits for database management.

MySQLi extension is designed to work with MySQLi version 4.1.13 or newer. It was introduced with PHP version 5.0.0.

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