In our work with MySQL it's quite possible that we may need a specialized client program that simply doesn't exist anywhere. So for that purpose the people who created MySQL also gave us the ability to create new clients and they've given us what we call Client Libraries that we can use with our favorite programming language in order to be able to set up a program that knows how to communicate with the MySQL server. And that's what these Client Libraries. So we also call them the MySQL Connectors and in fact what they are, are application programming interfaces or what we call APIs that know how to communicate with the server. We use them to create client programs and they know how to establish and maintain a connection with the server. Now, we get these things from Oracle. Oracle is the current steward of MySQL and they have therefore inherited not only MySQL but also all these other things that the developers of MySQL have created. The main Client Library is one called Libmysqlclient and this is a basic C Library and as a matter of fact it comes included with all the MySQL distribution so you actually will find that in the Bin Directory with everything else. And that can be used for building then a new client program if you want to program in C. There's also an ODBC Connector that we can use for that kind of database access, that's also based on this same C Library. But then there's some other ones that are built natively in other languages. So we have a Java Connector for example the Connector J. We have a .NET Connector that's written in C# and PHP also has some MySQL extensions that are built into it that allow PHP, at least the native PHP to communicate with MySQL. The one on Windows systems need a little bit of help in they also have a PHP Library that you can use on Windows that will give it the extra functionality for knowing how to communicate with MySQL. We download all of these things from the downloads page of the Dev.MySQL.com website. So Oracle provides all of these. Now these are for creating clients again that will connect with a MySQL server but they've also done an interesting thing and that is they've given us additional libraries, programming libraries that allow us to embed a MySQL server in an application that we create. So rather than having a program that communicates with the MySQL server we can have a program that actually incorporates the MySQL server instead. And this comes in two flavors from MySQL. There is a, an embedded C Client Library, it's called LibmysqlD and there's also a Java one that's the connector MXJ that we see here. And again we download these things from Dev.MySQL.com as well. Now maybe that doesn't cover programming languages that we prefer to use for some reason, not a problem. Being an open source product, the open source community surrounding MySQL is just rich with all kinds of things that we can get our hands on. So there are a number of connectors from third parties that are basically wrappers around the original C connector for the most part, they just want to make it so that the C connector has an interface that's compatible with the programming language that's going to be used. So some people have spent some time developing these and we have them for all kinds of languages. So we have them for Perl and Python and Ruby and Lua and Scheme and Fortran and TCL and Eiffel and on and on and on. There are just all kinds of them and if you have a favorite programming language or if there's some new programming language that comes up, I'm sure that someone out there will end up making a wrapper for that basic C connector that then will allow us to use that new programming language. And build clients for communicating with MySQL server. So that's the story about creating our own clients. In the subsequent lessons in this chapter now, I'd like to go into a little bit more detail still as an overview of some of the different parts of the MySQL server that we're going to connect our clients to. So in the next lesson we're going to look a little bit more closely at the internal architecture of the MySQL server pointing out some of the subsystems that are there and some of the relationships among them. And then we'll detail some of those a little bit further again as an overview of things we're going to learn how to manage. But we want to understand what they're for so that's what this chapter is about.
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