The recent purchase of Ardent Software by the Informix Software Corp. has caused ripples of concern throughout the wholesale distribution software industry. Ardent is the developer of the UniVerse and UniData databases, which some wholesale distribution software providers use to build their distribution and warehouse management systems.

"The move caused some concern among some users of Ardent's database products as these products appear to be redundant with Informix' database products," according to a release from NxTrend Technology. "This has significant impact on the wholesale distribution marketplace as several software companies that have applications servicing distributors have written their products using Ardent's technology."

Among these companies are Eclipse Software and Prelude Systems.

NxTrend also has a product, SHIMS, that uses Ardent's database technology, but the company has been moving its SHIMS customers to its SX.enterprise product.

Joel Kremke, NxTrend's vice president/marketing, said the company has had doubts about Ardent's long-term viability as a database provider for some time.

Larry Weiner, an Eclipse spokesman, said that the NxTrend statement was deliberately misleading to Eclipse customers and that Ardent has said business will continue as usual, including support for its products.

A letter to Ardent's customers posted on its Web site states that the company will maintain a business-as-usual stance as it moves toward eventual integration with Informix. A separate letter states that no change will occur in the company's support for all its "major" database platforms.

However, Jean-Yves Dexmier, chairman and CEO of Informix, told PCWeek Online that Ardent's UniVerse and UniData products would be supported for a short time only. Informix would then provide a migration path to Informix databases.