OneSource boosts XBRL

OneSource Information Services Inc., a Concord, Mass.-based provider of financial data on global public companies, said this week that it is supporting eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) in an SDK for developers.

XBRL, which provides a standard way for businesses to import financial data, is becoming a de facto standard internationally with support from more than 170 organizations, including auditors, software vendors and government regulatory bodies, said Mark Israel, chief architect at OneSource.

Israel's view was supported last week by Rita Knox, a Gartner Inc. ( analyst covering XML issues, who predicted during a Gartner conference in San Diego that XBRL will enjoy widespread adoption by 2005.

The OneSource AppLink SDK makes it possible for developers to provide a link between an organization's financial applications -- ranging from Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to CRM systems -- and the OneSource information warehouse, which the firm's Israel said holds data on more than 28,000 global companies.

"You can take the information, import it in a standardized format and have your programs work off of XBRL, as opposed to any proprietary format," he said.

OneSource, which recently joined the 170 member-strong XBRL International standards body, has developed extensions to the standard. The extensions will be published for member consideration, Israel said.

One of the first XBRL extensions developed by OneSource is for ratios, which Israel said customers are seeking for business decisions. "Revenue per employee is something our customers want to use," Israel said. "It's something that we're delivering now as an XBRL extension."

OneSource provides calculated variables via XBRL such as total sales per employee, net income per employee, and total debt to total capitalization. Several standard reports are also available for query directly through XBRL, including balance sheets, income statements, statements of cash flows and ratio reports.

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Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.


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