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Posted 20 Jul 2008


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Minimalistic Driver-less Native MySql Client

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4.41/5 (22 votes)
11 May 2009CPOL2 min read
Native MySql Client not requiring any special driver or library
Sample - Click to enlarge image


Recently I needed to create a database application and my Database server choice was MySql. It's free and can run on Linux with great uptimes. The problem is that I needed Windows Mobile version and on Windows clients, you need to install a special ODBC driver called "MySql Connector" to use it via any Microsoft DB API like ADO. You also need to reinstall it with every major MySql change like lately version 4.1. Now I don't like installers and any unnecessary maintenance on client machines. I want my executable to be easily deployable Click and Run business. Also I link it to msvcrt.dll that is part of any Windows version out there. This way there is absolutely no need to install / distribute new bulky Visual C++ 7/8/9 runtimes just for functions like strlen(). I just hope that Microsoft will one day deploy those runtimes via service pack so they are more common.


Well MySql is a beautiful Open Source project. The sources from their site contain "libmysql". However I was not able to compile it on Windows due to missing project files and mainly some weird build system. After like 20 attempts to compile it, I decided that I don't need 99% of
that library's functionality anyway and implemented minimalistic native MySql client on my own. The additional advantage is that now I can do things not previously imaginable, like reusing SQL connection without the need to do slow reauth on every command, or mirroring non query commands to more SQL servers and having instant and transacted backup for free.
No less interesting is Load balancing on more servers where one can ask SQL servers
their CPU and mem usage and simply depart SQL query to the least loaded one.
Being extremely small and independent on external runtimes makes it easy to port to mobile devices.

Using the Code

This mini client basically has these simple parts:

  1. Connect and auth 
  2. Send SQL command
  3. Collect and display results

Now this is very minimal implementation that suited all my needs in the first phase of my project. It handles all common data types such as strings, integers, dates. Links to documentation are parts of the source.
So reformat it the way you like it and enjoy. ;)

// Author : Ladislav Nevery 2008

#include <windows.h>

#include <wincrypt.h>
#include <commctrl.h>

#pragma comment(lib,"wsock32.lib")
#pragma comment(lib,"crypt32.lib")
#pragma comment(lib,"comctl32.lib")

char* user  =         "root";
BYTE* pasw  =  (BYTE*)"your_pasword"; 

HWND  list; BYTE temp[20], resp[20], *chal; 

DWORD WINAPI Sql( void* command , void* onvalue=0, void* onfield=0 ) {
    HCRYPTPROV  prov; HCRYPTHASH hash; DWORD ret=0,no=20; int i,psw=strlen((char*)pasw); static SOCKET s=0;


    static char* b = (char*)calloc(1<<24,1), *d; // recv buffer is max row size 16 mb

    if(!s) {

        sockaddr_in addr = {AF_INET,htons(3306), 127,0,0,1 };  // Put your server Port and IP here
        s = socket(AF_INET,SOCK_STREAM,IPPROTO_TCP);

        if(connect(s,(sockaddr*)&addr,sizeof(addr)) <  0 ) return MessageBox(0,  0,"Connect Failed  ",0); 
        i=recv(s,b,1<<24,0);               if (b[4] < 10 ) return MessageBox(0,b+5,"Need MySql > 4.1",0);

        // Read server auth challenge and calc response by making SHA1 hashes from it and password 
        // Details at:

        chal=(BYTE*)b+strlen(b+5)+10; memcpy(chal+8,chal+27,13); 

        if(! CryptAcquireContext(&prov,0,0,PROV_RSA_FULL,0              ) ) 

        // The following source format is quite wide but only one I found that 
        // keeps order in which hashes are applied visible and operations categorized 

        CryptCreateHash(prov,CALG_SHA1,0,0,&hash); CryptHashData(hash,pasw,psw,0); CryptGetHashParam(hash,HP_HASHVAL,temp,&no,0); CryptDestroyHash(hash);
        CryptCreateHash(prov,CALG_SHA1,0,0,&hash); CryptHashData(hash,temp, 20,0); CryptGetHashParam(hash,HP_HASHVAL,resp,&no,0); CryptDestroyHash(hash);
        CryptCreateHash(prov,CALG_SHA1,0,0,&hash); CryptHashData(hash,chal, 20,0);
                                                   CryptHashData(hash,resp, 20,0); CryptGetHashParam(hash,HP_HASHVAL,resp,&no,0); CryptDestroyHash(hash);   
        CryptReleaseContext( prov,0);                     

        // Construct client auth response 
        // Details at:

                 d = b+4;
          *(int*)d = 1<<2|1<<9|1<<15|1; d+=4;      // features: CLIENT_FOUND_ROWS|CLIENT_PROTOCOL_41|CLIENT_SECURE_CONNECTION|CLIENT_LONG_PASSWORD;
          *(int*)d = 1<<24;             d+=4;      // max packet size = 16Mb
               * d = 8;                 d+=24;     // utf8 charset
          strcpy(d,user);               d+=1 + strlen(user);
               * d = 20;                d+=1;  for(i=0;i<20;i++)  
              d[i] = resp[i]^temp[i];   d+=22;     // XOR encrypt response
          *(int*)b = d-b-4 | 1<<24;                // calc final packet size and id

          send(s,b,  d-b,0);

          recv(s,(char*)&no,4,0); no&=(1<<24)-1;   // in case of login failure server sends us an error text 
        i=recv(s,b,no,0);        if(i==-1||*b)     return MessageBox(0,i==-1?"Timeout":b+3,"Login Failed",0);
    // Send sql command 
    // Details at:
    d[4]=0x3; strcpy(d+5,(char*)command); *(int*)d=strlen(d+5)+1; i=send(s,d,4+*(int*)d,0);
    // Parse and display record set 
    // Details at:

    char *p=b, txt[1000]={0}; BYTE typ[1000]={0}; int fields=0, field=0, value=0, row=0, exit=0, rc=0; 

    while (1) {
               rc = 0;     i=recv(s,(char*)&no,4,0);        no&=0xffffff; // This is a bug. server sometimes don't send those 4 bytes together. will fix it 
        while( rc < no && (i=recv(s,b+rc, no-rc ,0)) > 0  ) rc+=i; 
        if(i<1) { closesocket(s); s=0;  break; }                                      // Connection lost

        // 0. For non query sql commands we get just single success or failure response
        if(*       b==0x00&&!exit)                                                  break;   // success
        if(*(BYTE*)b==0xff&&!exit)  { b[*(short*)(b+1)+3]=0; MessageBox(0,b+3,0,0); break; } // failure: show server error text

        // 1. first think we receive is number of fields
        if(!fields ) { memcpy(&fields,b,no); field=fields; continue; } 

        // 3. 5. after receiving last field info or row we get this EOF marker
        if (*(BYTE*)b==0xfe && no < 9) if(exit++) break; else continue;        // EOF

        // 4. after receiving all field infos we receive row field values. One row per Receive/Packet
        while( value  ) {
            *txt=0; i=fields-value; __int64 len=1; BYTE g=*(BYTE*)p; 
            g=(g==0||g==251)?0:(g==252)?2:(g==253)?3:(g==254)?8:1; if(g>1)p++; // Specialy packed length 1-8 bytes
            memcpy(&len,p,g); p+=g;

            // Here you can Add support for displaying more DB types like blobs etc.
            if((typ[i]==0xfe||typ[i]==0xfd||typ[i]==0x03||typ[i]==0x08||typ[i]==0xC)) {  // FIELD_TYPE_STRING || FIELD_TYPE_VAR_STRING || FIELD_TYPE_LONG
                if(g) memcpy(txt,p,len); txt[len]=0; 
                typedef long (*TOnValue)(char*,int,int,int);  if(onvalue) ret=((TOnValue)onvalue)(txt,row,i,typ[i]);
            if(!--value) { row++; value=fields; p=b; break; }

        // 2. Second info we get are field infos like name type etc. One field per Receive/Packet
        if( field  ) {
                  i        = fields - field;
            char* cat      =          p; p+=1+*p; *   cat ++=0;
            char* db       =          p; p+=1+*p; *    db ++=0;
            char* table    =          p; p+=1+*p; * table ++=0;
            char* table_   =          p; p+=1+*p; * table_++=0;
            char* name     =          p; p+=1+*p; *  name ++=0; 
            char* name_    =          p; p+=1+*p; *  name_++=0; *p++=0;
            short charset  = *(short*)p; p+=2;
            long  length   = * (long*)p; p+=4;
                  typ[i]   = * (BYTE*)p; p+=1;
            short flags    = *(short*)p; p+=2;
            BYTE  digits   = * (BYTE*)p; p+=3;
            char* Default  =          p; 

            if(!--field) value = fields; p=b; length=max(length*3,60); length=min(length,200);
            typedef long (*TOnField)(char*,int,int,int);  if(onfield) ((TOnField)onfield)(name,row,i,length);
    return ret;

void OnValue( char* txt, int row, int col, int typ ) {
    LVITEM v={LVIF_TEXT,row,0,0,0,txt};
    if(!col) ListView_InsertItem (list,&v);
    else     ListView_SetItemText(list,row,col,txt);

void OnField( char* txt, int row, int col ,int len ) {
    LVCOLUMN c={LVCF_WIDTH|LVCF_TEXT,0,len,txt,col};

long GetLong( char* txt ) {
    return    atol( txt );

int WINAPI WinMain(HINSTANCE  inst, HINSTANCE  prev, LPSTR cmnd, int show) {    
    MSG m; WSADATA wsa; WSAStartup(MAKEWORD(1,1),&wsa); InitCommonControls();

    SetWindowLong( ListView_GetHeader(list),GWL_STYLE,GetWindowLong(ListView_GetHeader(list), GWL_STYLE)^HDS_BUTTONS);   

    long rows = Sql("select count(*) from mysql.user",GetLong);          // example to get no of rows
                Sql("select       *  from mysql.user",OnValue,OnField);  // example to process data

    while(GetMessage(&m,0,0,0)) DispatchMessage( &m); 
    return 0;


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Software Developer (Senior)
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Past Projects:
[]Mobile network software: HLR-Inovation for (Corba)
Medical software: CorRea module for CT scanner
[]Computer Games:XboxLive/net code for Conan, Knights of the temple II, GeneTroopers, CivilWar, Soldier of fortune II
[]Computer Games:XboxLive/net code for Elveon game based on Unreal Engine 3
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Comments and Discussions

QuestionI can't get it to work Pin
Acid Rain12-Oct-21 10:09
MemberAcid Rain12-Oct-21 10:09 
GeneralI have a question Pin
rob_toutant10-Nov-10 8:14
Memberrob_toutant10-Nov-10 8:14 
Generalconecting to older version of mysql Pin
rob_toutant27-Nov-08 11:01
Memberrob_toutant27-Nov-08 11:01 
GeneralRe: conecting to older version of mysql Pin
Ladislav Nevery6-Dec-08 10:17
MemberLadislav Nevery6-Dec-08 10:17 
GeneralODBC Pin
saikat_ov30-Jul-08 7:02
Membersaikat_ov30-Jul-08 7:02 
GeneralRe: ODBC Pin
Ladislav Nevery2-Aug-08 6:47
MemberLadislav Nevery2-Aug-08 6:47 

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