ANTs Software has released an update to its high-speed relational database that adds compatibility for applications written for databases from MySQL and IBM's Informix division.

ANTs Data Server (ADS) 3.4 now offers compatibility with six databases, which means companies can move applications written for those databases to ADS relatively easily and with little recoding, according to Boyd Pearce, ANTs' chief executive. The others are Oracle's 10g and Times Ten databases, Microsoft's SQL Server and Sybase's Adaptive Server Enterprise.

ANTs hopes the performance and cost of ownership for its database will tempt customers to switch over from other, more established products, Pearce said.

ANTs claimed to offer a significant performance boost compared to the leading databases, particularly when handling heavy transaction loads, complex analytical queries or a large number of active connections. It uses several technology tricks to make this possible, including an alternative to row locking, a common technique for ensuring data integrity that also puts a drag on database performance.

ANTs hopes version 3.4 of its database will attract MySQL customers in particular, Pearce said. Oracle recently acquired Innobase, a Finnish open source company that develops a popular component of the MySQL database, and that deal may push some customers to look for an alternative to MySQL, according to Pearce.

MySQL has said its customers have nothing to worry about.

Pricing for ANTs version 3.4 is unchanged at US$25,000 per processor for the enterprise edition. A professional edition, aimed at developers, is $5,000 per processor. The company is offering a special deal for MySQL customers, who for a limited time can switch to ADS for half of whatever their annual MySQL invoice would be, Pearce said.