XBRL - eXtensible Business Reporting Language
XBRL was created as from the proposal launched in 1998 by Charles Hoffman, an auditor accountant expert, to simplify the automation of the financial information exchange by the use of the XML language. Hoffman was very aware of the need to systematize this exchange as consequence of his many years of experience with automated accounting systems.
Nowadays, the financial community exchanges information through formats as Excel, PDF, HTML, texts, etc., which make the data distribution easier but not their transmission or automatic integration to other systems.
The proposed solution by means of XBRL proposes LABELING the financial and business information, so the rest of the applications are able to receive it and interpret it easily and automatically, without the need of introducing, adapting or manually updating the data in each one of them. Therefore, the net benefit of a company, for example, has a common label in all the applications and then, each one of them identifies it and automatically records every change to be made caused.
More information at http://www.xbrl.org/Home/