PHP RFC: mysqli bind in execute


PDO has always offered binding values to the prepared statement directly in the execute() call by providing an array with the values. The same functionality was never present in mysqli, and many users have been confused by that lack of seemingly easy functionality. (See Bug #40891, Bug #31096)


I would like to propose adding a new optional argument to mysqli_stmt::execute() same as PDO does with PDOStatement::execute(). The goal of this proposal is to simplify mysqli usage with a simple fix that does not require major refactoring.

This proposal tries to address the following mysqli limitations:

// mysqli can only bind by reference and each variable needs to be passed as a separate argument. 
$id = 1;
$name = trim(' Dharman ');
$stmt = $mysqli->prepare('INSERT INTO users(id, name) VALUES(?,?)');
$stmt->bind_param('ss', $id, $name);
// The following would fail and throw an error
$stmt = $mysqli->prepare('INSERT INTO users(id, name) VALUES(?,?)');
$stmt->bind_param('ss', 1, trim(' Dharman '));
// Binding an array can be very confusing
$arr = [2,3,5,8,13];
$stmt = $mysqli->prepare('SELECT name FROM users WHERE id IN ('.str_repeat('?,', count($arr) - 1) . '?)');
$stmt->bind_param(str_repeat('s', count($arr)), ...$arr);
// SOLUTION:  bind in execute 
// it is now possible to bind by value
$stmt = $mysqli->prepare('INSERT INTO users(id, name) VALUES(?,?)');
$stmt->execute([1, trim(' Dharman ')]);
// binding an array becomes less of a chore
$arr = [2,3,5,8,13];
$stmt = $mysqli->prepare('SELECT name FROM users WHERE id IN ('.str_repeat('?,', count($arr) - 1) . '?)');

It also works in procedural style.

$stmt = mysqli_prepare($mysqli, 'INSERT INTO users(id, name) VALUES(?,?)');
// $stmt->execute([$id, trim(' Dharman ')]);
mysqli_stmt_execute($stmt, [$id, trim(' Dharman ')]);
// with the existing alias
mysqli_execute($stmt, [++$id, trim(' Dharman ')]);

What about type specifications?

MySQL can type juggle as easily as PHP. The safest way to bind parameters if you are not 100% certain of their type is to bind as a string. In many cases, this is the preferred simplest way. Type specifications should only be used in rare situations when the data should be passed to MySQL with a specific type. In reality, such situations are scarce and they depend on the SQL not on PHP data type. For these rare cases, we can continue using bind_param() with the right type specification.

Difference between PDO and mysqli

While the idea came from PDO bind-in-execute implementation, the mysqli proposal differs in two small ways.

  1. Only list arrays are allowed. This is because mysqli doesn't have support for named parameters like PDO does. If an associative array is passed then a ValueError will be thrown. The implementation uses is_list.
  2. Re-binding empty array throws an error in mysqli. PDO simply ignores an empty array and continues to use previously bound values.

libmysql support?

Unfortunately, I am limited to Windows programming and I have no way of developing the same for libmysql and testing it myself. In theory, it should be possible to add this for libmysql with slight adjustments, but support for libmysql is not actively maintained at the moment and there are more problems that would probably need to be addressed by whoever decides to maintain libmysql support.

Backward Incompatible Changes

Classes extending mysqli_stmt::execute() will be required to specify the additional parameter now.

Proposed PHP Version(s)

Next PHP 8.X (8.1)

RFC Impact

This RFC will have no impact on any existing functionality. We would only be adding a new optional parameter to an existing function.

New Constants


php.ini Defaults


Unaffected PHP Functionality

The traditional way of binding variables to placeholders in mysqli remains unchanged. However, it is not possible to mix both styles in the same prepared statement as both expect all parameters to be provided in a single method call.

Future Scope

None, but see related RFC mysqli_execute_parameters

Proposed Voting Choices

Simple yes/no vote.

Voting started on 2021-03-08 and ends on 2021-03-27

MySQLi bind-in-execute
Real name Yes No
ashnazg (ashnazg)  
bmajdak (bmajdak)  
bwoebi (bwoebi)  
colinodell (colinodell)  
crell (crell)  
daverandom (daverandom)  
dharman (dharman)  
dragoonis (dragoonis)  
galvao (galvao)  
geekcom (geekcom)  
jasny (jasny)  
kguest (kguest)  
kinncj (kinncj)  
kocsismate (kocsismate)  
lcobucci (lcobucci)  
marandall (marandall)  
nicolasgrekas (nicolasgrekas)  
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patrickallaert (patrickallaert)  
petk (petk)  
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sergey (sergey)  
sjon (sjon)  
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Final result: 32 0
This poll has been closed.



rfc/mysqli_bind_in_execute.txt · Last modified: 2021/06/11 11:55 by dharman