The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a request for proposal for technology firms to submit solutions for applying Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) to SEC filings so that it is easier for investors and analysts to navigate the filings and readily compare financial information among companies.

To date, the SEC has only run a data test group of about two dozen companies using XBRL, which has been applied to periodic reports.

"The SEC's website will feature easy-to-use software that will allow any investors, analyst or company to discover the possibilities of interactive data," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. "Looking down the road, we expect that commercially available software products will serve customers in many more sophisticated ways to take advantage of interactive data. We're enthusiastic about our own plans for the Web, and we look forward with equal enthusiasm to the development of a variety of private-sector applications for both professional and retail use."

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