The open source model has proven itself time and again to be a great accelerator of technology adoption
Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) December 4, 2006
Following-up its Open Source XBRL taxonomies announcement last May, UBmatrix, a leading provider of XBRL-enabled software, today announced plans to Open Source their XBRL processing engine software code by the end of the year. While the company will continue to offer customers a commercial version of the UBmatrix™ Processing Engine that is fully supported, scalable, and maintains continued compliance with XBRL International specifications, UBmatrix will contribute source code from its publicly-released Java version shipped last July to a new Open Source project on SourceForge.net.
"The open source model has proven itself time and again to be a great accelerator of technology adoption", remarked Sunir Kapoor, President and CEO of UBmatrix. "UBmatrix has long been a leading company in the XBRL community and we have been looking at ways to increase the number of projects utilizing the standard. We believe Open Source is an ideal strategy. Besides virtually eliminating barriers to adoption, we feel the developer community will bring a ton of good ideas. And by making the code Open Source, it will allow the community to help shape XBRL's role in the enterprise IT fabric, molding it to solve a broader set of business problems."
This project will be different than any other Open Source XBRL project. It starts with the source code. UBmatrix is contributing a field-proven, standards-based product that's already known as the most robust and production-tested XBRL processing engine on the market. With over five years of development, several customer implementations, and millions of dollars invested, anyone building products or proprietary solutions around XBRL can get use out of it right away. Secondly, the project is backed by UBmatrix. This means there will be highly experienced developers from UBmatrix participating in the community.
"I applaud UBmatrix making XBRL widely available by releasing their processing engine Open Source," said Open Source pioneer Larry Augustin. Augustin is an investor and board member of eight Open Source companies today and is probably best known as the founder and CEO of VA Linux which he took public in 1999. "The availability of an Open Source XBRL engine will lower the barrier to adoption of XBRL and provide a catalyst allowing this important technology to become widely adopted in the industry. And in addition to the market benefiting from greater availability, UBmatrix will benefit. As is the case with the other Open Source companies I work with, the adoption of the Open Source version will lead to greater demand for their commercial XBRL products. It's a win-win for both."
"Our company's heritage is deeply rooted in the XBRL community and open standards-based software," commented Joe Pistritto, Vice President of Product Development at UBmatrix. "Now XML developers and ISVs will have a high-performance, open source XBRL processor for building and deploying applications for business reporting, data interchange, service-oriented architectures, and a lot of other things we haven't even thought of yet. In fact, any developer who is considering the use of XML for sharing data between applications should stop and take a look at XBRL. It's the next generation of XML technology and will save them a lot of coding."
A processing engine is the essential component of any application that plans to read, write, and validate XBRL. Much like a database engine that uses SQL to read and write data to a set of relational tables (or schema), the XBRL processing engine reads and writes XBRL based upon the schema, dimensions, and business rules defined in an XBRL taxonomy. What's more, with its standards-based XSLT support, the UBmatrix Processing Engine can render XBRL data into a multitude of formats readable by both computers and people.
Walter Hamscher, President and CEO of Standard Advantage and former Chairman of the XBRL International Steering Committee put the announcement in perspective this way: "An XBRL processor is a fundamental starting point for using XBRL. It is necessary both for designing taxonomies that comply with the standards, and necessary to read, write, and validate XBRL instance documents. When this Open Source from UBmatrix becomes available it should almost immediately accelerate the development and delivery of robust XBRL enabled applications, from spreadsheets to consolidation systems and across the entire World Wide Web."
Over the years, UBmatrix has contributed thousands of hours to advancing the XBRL standard. This includes consistent participation on standards and steering committees, and the leadership and development work in architecting the US-GAAP and IFRS taxonomies. It also includes contributing its online service xBReeze at no charge to Open Source taxonomy projects. UBmatrix will continue to demonstrate its commitment XBRL. This new Open Source initiative could be the most significant contribution yet.
"This is an unexpected and welcome contribution to the XBRL community, especially here in Europe," noted Olivier Servais, Director of XBRL Europe. "Given the unprecedented interest in XBRL across Europe and the popularity of Open Source, I expect many technology professionals will jump at the chance to download the software and learn how useful XBRL can be. This can only help widen adoption and implementation."
UBmatrix will offer the source code of its XBRL processing engine under the terms of The GNU General Public License (GPL) v2.0, providing the open source community the ability to take advantage of the source code and the company's patent (1) licensed under the terms of the GPL.
UBmatrix has chosen the GPL v2.0 as it fulfills the original intent of Open Source software. GPL v2.0 is designed to accelerate innovation by requiring sharing within the open source community. By design, it requires source code modifications to be shared with the project community resulting in rapid adoption of new ideas and improvements to the source code.
For those organizations that wish to upgrade to a version that comes with product support, a managed upgrade path, robust platform and scalability testing, and optional redistribution licensing, the UBmatrix Processing Engine will continue to be offered commercially. Both new and existing customers can rest assured that UBmatrix will fully back the commercial version same as always.
The decision to Open Source is not one UBmatrix has taken lightly. Many times, like in the case with Linux, Open Source has been effective in mature markets, allowing software to reach customer segments that have been underserved by existing vendors. XBRL is an early market. So in a sense, everyone's being underserved. "The principle with Open Source is to lower the barrier to adoption by allowing people to get their hands on the software," points out Mr. Kapoor.
A great example of this comes from one of the companies leading the way in Open Source applications: Pentaho, creator of the world's most popular open source business intelligence (BI) suite. "Since we created Pentaho as the first professional open source business intelligence company, our community and company have realized the advantages of open source for faster innovation, widespread distribution with minimal costs, and better value for customers than traditional proprietary vendors", commented Richard Daley, Pentaho's CEO. "We're excited about the UBmatrix announcement because we see a lot of synergies between business intelligence and XBRL. We are excited to work with UBmatrix and the Open Source community to provide interoperability between our projects".
UBmatrix Processing Engine is built on a completely extensible object oriented architecture that enables developers to easily integrate XBRL into existing applications. This robust architecture provides for:
- XBRL and FRTA validation
- Developer configurable validation rules
- Transformation of taxonomies and instance documents using XSLT, and
- Extraction of data via XPath 2.0.
The processing engine is designed to be integrated into existing IT infrastructure to facilitate the validating and transforming of XBRL data into and out of enterprise applications such as ERP, CRM, financials, spreadsheets, analytics and others. Organizations that collect and process XBRL data will benefit from a highly scalable and powerful processing engine that facilitates transformation of XBRL data into any format including plain text (CSV), XML, PDF, HTML, etc.
The processing engine is tightly integrated with XSLT and XPath 2.0. Developers integrating XBRL into their existing environment can easily leverage their investment in XML and Web services while gaining the benefits of XBRL.
To learn more about the UBmatrix Open Source project, to join as a contributing developer, or to merely download the XBRL processing engine once it becomes available this month, visit http://www.ubmatrix.com and follow the link directly to the project on SourceForge.Net. You can also visit http://www.sourceforge.net and search for "UBmatrix".
UBmatrix provides technology solutions for making data portable. Offered both as licensed software and on-demand via the Internet, UBmatrix solutions help automate the process of exchanging information using eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), the next evolutionary stage of XML. Using our platform, organizations can move data freely among applications within an enterprise, between business partners, and to regulators without losing the semantic meaning of the data. Benefits include increased operational and financial transparency, cost savings in sharing data both inside and outside the organization, and greater confidence in reporting accuracy and regulatory compliance.
Visit UBmatrix at http://www.ubmatrix.com.
(1) UBmatrix and xBReeze are trademarks of UBmatrix, Inc. US Patent No 6,947,947 B2 and other patents pending. Any third-party trademarks and patents are the property of their respective owners.