8.20.2008 The 1980s-era EDGAR database will be replaced by a new database called “Interactive Data Electronic Applications” or “IDEA.” IDEA is designed to give investors faster and easier access to financial information about public companies and mutual funds. Based on a completely new architecture being built from the ground up, it will at first supplement and then eventually replace the EDGAR system. EDGAR will be used just until IDEA is fully up and running.
About 100 public companies and mutual funds already have filed some financial data with the new interactive format. The system is based on extensible business reporting language (“XBRL”), a code used to "tag" data, much like bar codes, making it easier to find data. The SEC is requiring companies and mutual funds that are publicly traded in the U.S. to adopt the XBRL standard.
Besides helping investors find data, the new format aims to make it easier to compare data among companies and mutual funds. And the SEC is encouraging outside developers to create new software programs, whether free or for-fee, to help investors slice and dice the data in fresh ways. Yahoo Finance, Google Finance and Morningstar.com are expected to offer free or low-cost programs for IDEA.
Click http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2008/2008-179.htm to access the press release about IDEA.