mysqli interface is an improvement (it means "MySQL Improvement extension") of the
mysql interface, which was deprecated in version 5.5 and is removed in version 7.0.
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 interface has a number of benefits, the key enhancements over the mysql extension being:
It features a dual interface: the older, procedural style and a new, object-oriented programming (OOP) style. The deprecated
mysql had only a procedural interface, so the object-oriented style is often preferred. However, the new style is also favorable because of the power of OOP.
An alternative to the
mysqli interface to access databases is the newer PHP Data Objects (PDO) interface. This features only OOP-style programming and can access more than only MySQL-type databases.