The SEC unveiled the successor to the agency's 1980s-era EDGAR database, which will give investors far faster and easier access to key financial information about public companies and mutual funds, according to an SEC news release.
The new system is called IDEA, short for Interactive Data Electronic Applications. Based on an architecture that incorporates XBRL technology, it will at first supplement and then eventually replace the EDGAR system.
EDGAR will be available to users for the indefinite future. During the transition, investors can take advantage of interactive, IDEA-like features that will be grafted onto EDGAR in the short run. This will allow investors to tap IDEA's advanced search capabilities, and to use the information from EDGAR within spreadsheets and analytical software something that was never possible with EDGAR. The EDGAR database also will be available as an archive of company filings for past years.