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Using a MySQL Database with C++

How to Access MySQL Stored Functions from a C++


Sep 23, 2008 Mark Alexander Bain

Access a MySQL database using C++ code - Mark Alexander Bain

C++ and MySQL are both very powerful, but when combined they can make a killer application.
One of the most powerful combinations that any programmer can use is the combination of C++
and MySQL - a flexible programming language with a multi-platform and stable database; but
this may seem an intimidating task to the new software developer.
It's not. This article will show just how easy it is for a programmer to use C++ to:
• set up a connection to a MySQL database
• use the C++ code to access an MySQL stored function
• display the results returned by the MySQL stored function
• and (perhaps most importantly) handle any errors
Setting up Test Data in a MySQL Database
Before a programmer can use a database that database must, of course, exist; or, at very least, a
test database must exist. Fortunately creating a database in MySQL is very simple and consists of
three steps:
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1. log on to MySQL
2. use SQL to create the MySQL database and any tables
3. populate the tables with appropriate data
The first step (logging on to MySQL) can be done from the command line:
mysql -u<user> -p<password> mysql
Next, simple SQL can be used to the database and tables for the database:
create database cpp_data;
use cpp_data;
create table users(id int, fname varchar(25), sname varchar(25), active bool);
insert into users values (1, 'Fred', 'Smith', True);
insert into users values (2, 'Jane', 'Jones', True);
With this done, it's time to start thinking about doing some actual programming.
Creating a Stored Procedure in a MySQL Database
One of the new additions to MySQL is one that Oracle users will already know - the stored
function. The great advantage to using stored functions is that programming code can be built
into the database rather than into an application - meaning that multiple applications can use the
same piece of code:
Read on
• How to Use the MySQL Data Reader
• How to Use Database Recordsets with VBScript
• Using Batch Files to Create MySQL Databases
delimiter //
create function user_count () returns int
declare c int;
select count(*) into c from users where active = True;
return c;
delimiter ;
This code simply returns the number of active users (from the table users).
Loading the MySQL Header File into C++
When using MySQL with C++ the programmer needs to know absolutely nothing about the
actual mechanics of the process - all the programmer has to do is to load the MySQL header file:
#include <iostream>
#include <mysql.h>
using namespace std;
MYSQL *connection, mysql;
MYSQL_RES *result;
int query_state;
int main() {
return 0;
C++ Code for Connecting to a Database
This example code above will compile and run, but doesn't actually do anything - first the C++
code must make a connection to the MySQL database:
//connection = mysql_real_connect(&mysql,"host","user","password","database",0,0,0);
connection = mysql_real_connect(&mysql,"localhost","bainm","not_telling","cpp_data",0,0,0);
if (connection == NULL) {
cout << mysql_error(&mysql) << endl;
return 1;
The above code:
• initialises the MySQL connection
• makes the connection to the MySQL database (for which the programmer needs to define
the host, user name, password and database)
• displays an error message if the connection is rejected for any reason
C++ Code for Running a Query on a MySQL Database
Having made a successful connection to the MySQL database the C++ code may be used to send
s SQL query - in this case to run the stored procedure created earlier:
query_state = mysql_query(connection, "select user_count()");
if (query_state !=0) {
cout << mysql_error(connection) << endl;
return 1;
This time the C++ code sends the SQL and then displays another error message if any problem is
C++ Code for Processing the Results of a MySQL Query
If the connection is successful and the query returns a result (otherwise known as a recordset)
then the next step is to display those results:
result = mysql_store_result(connection);
while ( ( row = mysql_fetch_row(result)) != NULL ) {
cout << row[0] << endl;
C++ Code for Disconnecting from a MySQL Database
The final step is to free up any memory used by the recordset and to close the connection:
Compiling and Running the C++ Code
How the code is compiled will depend on the operating system being used and the local set up -
in the case of Debian Linux the code would be compiled by using the command:
g++ -o db -L/usr/include/mysql -lmysqlclient -I/usr/include/mysql
Assuming, of course, that the code is stored in a file named
Both the MySQL database and the C++ programming language are powerful tools in their own
right; and combined they are an incredibly important tool for the software developer - an
important tool and one which is very easy to use, and very, very effective.