MySQL is set to launch a transaction database engine later this month. It was developed by former Netfrastructure president Jim Starkey, who joined MySQL when it acquired his web applicationcompany in February.

Starkey and his wife Ann Harrison had done occasional consulting work for MySQL over the years. MySQL recognised that Starkey's Netfrastructure had a full relational database. The database is "a jewel in the rough, a new engine with a more modern architecture," oriented for use with large-scale applications, said Zach Urlocker, vice president of marketing at MySQL.

MySQL's modular approach to development of its database means that the software can support multiple storage architectures, according to Urlocker.

Currently, users can choose from a variety of engines depending on what they want to use the database for. The engines include Oracle.'s InnoDB database for transaction processing and the MyISAM database, on which MySQL is based, for data warehousing. There's also MySQL Cluster, a database engine based on technology the company acquired in 2003 when it purchased Alzato, as well as a federated engine and an archive engine.