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The MySQLi extension, or as it is sometimes known, the MySQL Improved extension, was developed to take advantage of new features found in MySQL systems versions 4.1.3 and newer. The MySQLi extension is included with PHP versions 5 and later.

The mysqli PHP extension is the successor to the PHP extension. The extension's principle features consist of:

  • An object-oriented interface
  • Support for prepared statements
  • Support for multiple statements
  • Support for transactions
  • Enhanced debugging support
  • Embedded server support

As of PHP version >= 7.0, the mysql_ extension (deprecated in version 5.5) will be removed and only mysqli_ will be available

In addition to an object-oriented interface, most mysqli features also provide an equivalent procedural interface through functions prefixed mysqli_*()

Mysqli's prepared statement support makes use of ? placeholders bound to variable references for input, and variable references bound to columns when fetching output rows. Please note that, in order to use some aspects of mysqli prepared statements (most notably mysqli_stmt_get_result), your installation of PHP must use the Mysql Native Driver (mysqlnd), which also provides improved performance over the older MySQL Client Library.