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XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is an open standard which supports information modeling and the expression of semantic meaning commonly required in business reporting. XBRL is XML-based. It uses the XML syntax and related XML technologies such as XML Schema, XLink, XPath, Namespaces, etc. to articulate this semantic meaning. One use of XBRL is to define and exchange financial information, such as a financial statement. The XBRL Specification is developed and published by XBRL International, Inc. (XII).

XBRL is a standards-based way to communicate business and financial information. These communications are defined by metadata set out in taxonomies. Taxonomies capture the definition of individual reporting concepts as well as the relationships between concepts and other semantic meaning.

The wiki repository of more XBRL projects can be found at Worldwide XBRL Projects, to be freely explored and updated.

Document structure Edit

XBRL consists of an instance document, containing primarily the business facts being reported, and a collection of taxonomies (called a Discoverable Taxonomy Set (DTS)), which define metadata about these facts, such as what the facts mean and how they relate to one another. XBRL uses XML schema, XLink, and XPointer standards.

Instance document Edit

The instance document holds the <xbrl> root. The document itself holds the following information:

  • Business Facts - facts can be divided into two categories
    • Items are facts holding a single value. They are represented by a single XML element with the value as its content.
    • Tuples are facts holding multiple values. They are represented by a single XML element containing nested Items.
  • Contexts define the entity (i.e. company or individual) to which the fact applies, the period of time the fact is relevant, and an optional scenario. Scenarios provide further contextual information about the facts, such as whether the business values reported are actual, projected, budgeted, etc.
  • Units define the units used by numeric or fractional facts within the document, such as USD, shares. XBRL allows more complex units to be defined if necessary.
  • Footnotes
  • References to taxonomies, typically though schema references.

This is an example of a fictitious Dutch company's IFRS statement instance file :

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 
<xbrli:xbrl
xmlns:ifrs-gp="http://xbrl.iasb.org/int/fr/ifrs/gp/2005-05-15"
xmlns:iso4217="http://www.xbrl.org/2003/iso4217"
xmlns:xbrli="http://www.xbrl.org/2003/instance"
xmlns:xbrll="http://www.xbrl.org/2003/linkbase"
xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink">
 
    <xbrll:schemaRef xlink:arcrole="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink/properties/linkbase"
    xlink:type="simple"/>
    <ifrs-gp:OtherOperatingIncomeTotalFinancialInstitutions contextRef="J2004" decimals="0" unitRef="EUR">38679000000</ifrs-gp:OtherOperatingIncomeTotalFinancialInstitutions>
    <ifrs-gp:OtherAdministrativeExpenses contextRef="J2004" decimals="0" unitRef="EUR">35996000000</ifrs-gp:OtherAdministrativeExpenses>
    <ifrs-gp:OtherOperatingExpenses contextRef="J2004" decimals="0" unitRef="EUR">870000000</ifrs-gp:OtherOperatingExpenses>
    ...
    <ifrs-gp:OtherOperatingIncomeTotalByNature contextRef="J2004" decimals="0" unitRef="EUR">10430000000</ifrs-gp:OtherOperatingIncomeTotalByNature>
    <xbrli:context id="BJ2004">
        <xbrli:entity>
            <xbrli:identifier scheme="www.iqinfo.com/xbrl">ACME</xbrli:identifier>
        </xbrli:entity>
        <xbrli:period>
            <xbrli:instant>2004-01-01</xbrli:instant>
        </xbrli:period>
    </xbrli:context>
    <xbrli:context id="EJ2004">
        <xbrli:entity>
            <xbrli:identifier scheme="www.iqinfo.com/xbrl">ACME</xbrli:identifier>
        </xbrli:entity>
        <xbrli:period>
            <xbrli:instant>2004-12-31</xbrli:instant>
        </xbrli:period>
    </xbrli:context>
    <xbrli:context id="J2004">
        <xbrli:entity>
            <xbrli:identifier scheme="www.iqinfo.com/xbrl">ACME</xbrli:identifier>
        </xbrli:entity>
        <xbrli:period>
            <xbrli:startDate>2004-01-01</xbrli:startDate>
            <xbrli:endDate>2004-12-31</xbrli:endDate>
        </xbrli:period>
    </xbrli:context>
    <xbrli:unit id="EUR">
        <xbrli:measure>iso4217:EUR</xbrli:measure>
    </xbrli:unit>
</xbrli:xbrl>

Taxonomies Edit

Taxonomies are a collection of XML schema documents and XML documents called linkbases by virtue of their use of XLink. The schema must ultimately extend the XBRL instance schema document and typically extend other published XBRL schemas on the xbrl.org website.

  • Schemas define Item and Tuple "concepts" using <xsd:element> elements. Concepts provide names for the fact and indicate whether or not it's a tuple or item, what type of data it contains (monetary, numeric, fractional, textual, etc.) among some other metadata. Items and Tuples can be regarded as "implementations" of concepts, or specific instances of a concept. A good analogy for those familiar with object oriented programming would be that Concepts are the classes and Items and Tuples are Object instances of those classes. In addition to defining concepts, Schemas reference linkbase documents. Tuples instances are 1..n relationships with their parents, their metadata is simply the collection of their attributes.
  • Linkbases are a collection of Links, which themselves are a collection of locators, arcs, and potentially resources. Locators are elements that essentially reference a concept and provide an arbitrary label for it. In turn, arcs are elements indicating that a concept links to another concept by referencing the labels defined by the locators. Some arcs link concepts to other concepts. Other arcs link concepts to resources, the most common of which are human-readable labels for the concepts.


This is the taxonomy of the above shown instance file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<schema
xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"
xmlns:xbrli="http://www.xbrl.org/2003/instance"
xmlns:link="http://www.xbrl.org/2003/linkbase"
xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"
xmlns:ifrs-gp="http://xbrl.iasb.org/int/fr/ifrs/gp/2005-05-15"
xmlns:ifrs-gp-rol="http://xbrl.iasb.org/int/fr/ifrs/gp/2005-05-15/roles"
xmlns:samp="http://www.iqinfo.com/xbrl/taxonomy"
targetNamespace="http://www.iqinfo.com/xbrl/taxonomy"
elementFormDefault="qualified"
attributeFormDefault="unqualified">
 
    <annotation>
        <appinfo>
            <link:linkbaseRef xlink:type='simple' 
            xlink:href='http://xbrl.iasb.org/int/fr/ifrs/gp/2005-05-15/ifrs-gp-pre-bs-liquidity-2005-05-15.xml'
            xlink:role='http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationLinkbaseRef'
            xlink:arcrole='http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink/properties/linkbase' />
 
            <link:linkbaseRef xlink:type='simple' 
            xlink:href='http://xbrl.iasb.org/int/fr/ifrs/gp/2005-05-15/ifrs-gp-pre-is-byNature-2005-05-15.xml' 
            xlink:role='http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationLinkbaseRef'
            xlink:arcrole='http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink/properties/linkbase' />
 
            <link:linkbaseRef xlink:type='simple' 
            xlink:href='http://xbrl.iasb.org/int/fr/ifrs/gp/2005-05-15/ifrs-gp-cal-bs-liquidity-2005-05-15.xml'
            xlink:role='http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/calculationLinkbaseRef'
            xlink:arcrole='http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink/properties/linkbase' />
 
            <link:linkbaseRef xlink:type='simple' 
            xlink:href='http://xbrl.iasb.org/int/fr/ifrs/gp/2005-05-15/ifrs-gp-cal-is-byNature-2005-05-15.xml'
            xlink:role='http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/calculationLinkbaseRef' 
            xlink:arcrole='http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink/properties/linkbase' />
        </appinfo>
    </annotation>
    <import namespace="http://www.xbrl.org/2003/instance" 
    schemaLocation="http://www.xbrl.org/2003/xbrl-instance-2003-12-31.xsd" />
    <import namespace="http://xbrl.iasb.org/int/fr/ifrs/gp/2005-05-15" 
    schemaLocation="http://xbrl.iasb.org/int/fr/ifrs/gp/2005-05-15/ifrs-gp-2005-05-15.xsd" />
</schema>

XBRL's Global Ledger Framework is the only set of taxonomies that is developed and recommended by XII.


External links Edit

  • The official XBRL web site - source for the XBRL specification, a repository for financial reporting taxonomies, the Global Ledger taxonomy, and adoption resources

es:XBRL fr:XBRL id:XBRL nl:XBRL ja:Extensible Business Reporting Language pl:XBRL pt:XBRL sv:XBRL zh:XBRL

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