Financial Services Targeted In Effort To Build Support For XML - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

Financial Services Targeted In Effort To Build Support For XML

Microsoft says support for the Extensible Markup Language will be a key component of its enterprise software for years to come, so the company is working behind the scenes to make sure customers adopt the data-transformation language. One such effort, targeting the financial-services sector, is just starting to see the light of day.

Microsoft, SAP, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, and more than 60 additional companies in late July released version 1 of their Extensible Business Reporting Language specification. The spec, called XBRL, defines about 1,600 XML tags that define common ways of representing balance sheets, income statements, cash flows, and other items in financial reports.

Christy Reichhelm, a manager for B2B enterprise applications at Microsoft, says XBRL addresses the problem of generating financial reports when data is housed in various, often incompatible systems. It's a subset of XML, a language for describing data fields in a common manner that travels over the Internet-standard HTTP. Reichhelm says customers can write middleware modules that transform accounting data into XBRL instead of replacing systems right away. "You need to have stopgap steps before you make that kind of investment," she says.

For example, Microsoft has built demonstration software with its Visual Basic for Applications language that pulls data from Edgar Online, a popular Web site that lists companies' financial reports, into Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet app. Built-in support for XBRL in Excel may be forthcoming, Reichhelm adds. Similarly, accounting software vendor Navision Software US Inc. supports XBRL in its application. "We're pitching it to customers as a free benefit," says Navision manager Geni Whitehouse.

Other participants in the XBRL Committee--headed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants--include Arthur Andersen, Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and KPMG. Software vendors including PeopleSoft Inc. and Oracle are also involved. Microsoft participates in other groups that work on creating XML definitions for vertical markets, including RosettaNet for the IT industry, and efforts aimed at insurance and taxation.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
Commentary
The Growing Security Priority for DevOps and Cloud Migration
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/3/2020
Commentary
Dark Side of AI: How to Make Artificial Intelligence Trustworthy
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  9/15/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll