Using a latest version of ADO you should be able to connect to your database (though I have not worked with MySQL and that may be different).
As for deployment, you can build some initation procedures that create the required settings (I know these are API based calls but we have to get the thing done, don’t we?) on a client workstation.
And finally, if you manage to connect using ADO 2.8 then you will have to distribute that “mdac_type.exe” with your deliverable and you’ll have to include that in your setup anyway.
Just some thoughts.