Software AG, Rivet Software collaborate on XBRL

Companies to develop software for storing, transmitting data in Extensible Business Reporting Language standard

Software AG and Rivet Software have entered into a partnership to provide one of the industry's first software offerings for recording, storing and transmitting business and financial information based on the evolving XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) standard, the companies announced Tuesday.

The goal of XBRL is to make the analysis and exchange of corporate information more reliable and easier for organizations that store much of the same information in their own internal systems, but in widely varying formats and granularity. Information provided in the XBRL format can be electronically exchanged, extracted and compared without human intervention, providing for faster, more efficient financial reporting processes, the companies said in a statement.

The technology, essentially, uses data tags based on the XML (Extensible Markup Language) standard to describe business and financial data that can be read and analyzed automatically by computers.

Tax authorities in several countries plan to introduce mandatory filing of financial statements in XBRL over the next couple of years. Belgium is targeting 2006, with the Netherlands and the U.K. to follow in 2007, according to the statement. The Securities and Exchange Commission in the U.S. will begin accepting voluntary filing of XBRL documents next month.

Under the agreement between the two software vendors, users of Software AG's Digital Reporting Platform (DRP) can use Rivet's Dragon Tag software to easily and accurately convert financial information available in Microsoft Word and Excel formats into XBRL documents, according to the statement.

Details on licensing and pricing were not immediately available.

Software AG, in Darmstadt, Germany, and Rivet Software, in Denver, are members of XBRL International, an international nonprofit consortium of more than 250 companies, organizations and government agencies responsible for developing and maintaining XBRL and promoting its global adoption.