StyleVision Supports XBRL for Financial Reporting Part I – Creating GAAP-Compliant Reports and StyleSheets with a Single Click

Did you know that StyleVision is also an XBRL rendering and reporting tool that will allow you to create GAAP-compliant financial reports with the click of a button ? image
In this post we’ll show you how …

Altova’s native support for XBRL is great news for IT professionals serving a range of industries given the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) formal embrace of XBRL as a financial reporting language. In fact, virtually all public companies using GAAP accounting will be required to submit financial data for fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2011 to the SEC in XBRL, an XML-based language. IT professionals will be called upon not only to facilitate the exchange of data but to render XBRL data in a manner intelligible to business users. StyleVision can help. With a number of built-in capabilities that allow you to create customized GAAP-compliant stylesheets and reports for XBRL data with only a few clicks, StyleVision can make you look like a technical – and accounting – whiz. When you create a new design from an XBRL taxonomy, StyleVision creates a schema tree that reflects the presentation linkbase, an XML file that includes sets of related concepts grouped under presentation links (e.g., in the example below, 006091- Disclosure – Segment Revenue and Operating Income is a presentation link). Typically the presentation linkbase will appear in the schema tree as discrete financial statements, addendums, disclosures, and the like (this will depend on the contents of the linkbase – and keep in mind that although standard not every XBRL taxonomy will have a linkbase). Individual root elements are also available for reporting/processing and appear below the presentation links. image To create a stylesheet or report, drag the appropriate presentation link into the design window (for this example we have selected 124000 – Statement – Statement of Income (Including Gross Margin)). You will be prompted to create an XBRL table, XBRL chart, or XBRL template. image Selecting Create an XBRL Table will invoke the XBRL Table Wizard. image Note that under Options we have US-GAAP mode checked. If you check the US-GAAP mode box StyleVision will generate a table with all of the financial data in the presentation link selected. (You can select which period you would like represented under the Options tab as well). Output in HTML, RTF, PDF, and Word 2007+ formats, plus corresponding stylesheets, are automatically generated once you click OK. Although there are a number of formatting options in the Table Wizard, once the table is generated you can make additional changes (e.g., background color, font, text, table borders, etc.). In the example below we highlighted the <xbrli:instant> element and used Value Formatting to change how the time periods are represented. In the XBRL instance document, the time period appears in YYYYY-MM-DD – YYYY-MM-DD format. We have changed it to [Number of] Months Ending YYYY-MM-DD. image Notice the Styles window in the screenshot below – we’ve also changed the table header’s background color to navy and the text color to white. image Sorting, grouping (via XPath), and filtering (via XPath) options can also be edited after the table is generated by the XBRL Table Wizard. Simply right click in the Period or current-group bar above the table header and select the appropriate function. The Group by … dialog box appears below. image The GAAP-compliant table rendered in HTML appears below. image The HTML output above reflects the formatting options we selected in the XBRL Chart Wizard:

  • As indicated in the header, monetary items are shown in thousands because we selected Thousands in Display monetary items in under Options
  • We checked Auto-remove empty rows and Auto-remove empty columns so there are no empty rows or columns
  • Because we selected Enable interactive removal of columns (HTML only) under Options in the XBRL Chart Wizard the end user can click the “x” in the corner of a column to hide it
  • We did not select Enable tree view so the labels are all left justified and do not reflect the hierarchy of the schema
  • We did not enable Interactive expand/collapse buttons so they do not appear

One last thing to note is that in our example we have selected the entire presentation link 124000 – Statement – Statement of Income (Including Gross Margin) and all data in that presentation link is populated to the table. However if you expand the presentation link in the schema tree you can select individual line items or those grouped together from a presentation link and create a mini-table. This is just an overview of how you can use StyleVision’s built-in GAAP-compliant functionality to render XBRL data in some simple ways – the possibilities for presenting this data are virtually limitless. In future posts we’ll discuss using the XBRL Table Wizard to combine multiple line items from different presentation links for highly customized data presentation, creating powerful charts with the XBRL Chart Wizard, and other ways to help organizations leverage their XBRL data (we’ll even provide an example of how XBRL financial data can be used with other data sources to create an annual report).


Have you used Altova tools to create XBRL solutions for your clients? Please share your story with other Altova users by commenting on this blog post. Think it would make a great case study? Email us at We’d love to hear from you!

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Switch Statement vs. Look-up Table in MapForce

One of the great things about working with software developers is you not only get to create new things that never existed before, you also get to see how other peoples’ minds work when they discover alternate solutions to any design challenge. We received a comment from a software developer on our recent post titled Expandable If-Else Works like a Switch Statement in MapForce regarding one of the examples we used. The reader suggests that our second example illustrated a problem that would be more elegantly solved in Altova MapForce with Value-Map than by our Expanded If-Else statement. Here was the original example that received the month as a string of characters and needed to generate the corresponding number: Original Expanded If_Else example in MapForce A Value-Map in MapForce is an alternate solution that functions as a look-up table, whereas an Expanded If-Else acts like a switch statement. Here is how our mapping would look with a Value-Map in place of the Expanded If-Else: Value-Map alternative in MapForce Yep, that’s it. Rather than copying, pasting, and modifying sets of elements the way we built our original Expanded If-Else, a Value-Map lets us easily create the entire look-up table in its Properties dialog: Value-Map Properties dialog in MapForce We accept the commenter’s point — Value-Map definitely works better for the problem we chose because it’s much quicker and easier to create! The table from the Value-Map properties is also more concise and easier to interpret in MapForce-generated mapping documentation than our original Expanded If-Else structure. Of course you can’t always replace an Expanded If-Else statement with a Value-Map. Data entering the Value-Map must equal a single value in the input table to generate a specific output, whereas Expanded If-Else lets you set up a series of conditions with different logical tests. Sometimes the exact nature of a data conversion project makes it a judgment call to use a switch element vs. a look-up table. Let’s say your project receives input as a number that represents a wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum and you want to handle ultraviolet, visible colors, and infrared energy individually. In that case we could use an Expanded If-Else to test for ranges of input values. The Expanded If-Else section of the mapping might look like this: Expanded If-Else mapping in Altova MapForce If the input is an integer, you could also create a solution using Value-Map, but you would need to build a very long look-up table. And then what happens later if the project requirements change and the input becomes a decimal number, or you need to filter each visible color separately by name? Essentially Altova MapForce is a really cool graphical representation of a complete software language toolbox that insulates you from detailed programming language syntax, with a rich collection of components you can assemble creatively to solve your own data mapping, conversion, and integration challenges. Find out for yourself how easy it is to apply MapForce to your own data mapping projects. Download a free 30-day trial of MapForce.

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Visit Altova at Tech*Ed 2011

image Beginning May 16, you can find the Altova team in Booth #615 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. As a Microsoft® Tech*Ed 2011 Silver Sponsor, we will be on the exhibit floor discussing how the Altova MissionKit® tools are helpful for developers, designers, and DBAs working with Microsoft technologies. Altova MissionKit products include seamless integration with Visual Studio®, powerful functionality for SQL Server® database management and reporting, integration with SharePoint® Server, functionality for working with OOXML, diff/merge for Word documents, and much more. Stop by to enter for your chance to win a license for MapForce Basic Edition – our graphical data mapping, conversion, and transformation tool – and to chat about what you are currently working on. We look forward to kicking of our 2011 tradeshow season by talking with you next week!

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Diff / Merge for Databases

You may already be familiar with the diff/merge functionality Altova DiffDog brings to working with source code, XML, and Word files – but did you know you can also connect to, compare, and merge database data and structures? DiffDog supports all major relational databases and includes a Connection Wizard that lets you quickly connect to one or more. As shown in the screenshot below, natively supported databases include Microsoft® Access™, SQL Server®, Oracle®, MySQL®, IBM® DB2®, Sybase®, and PostgreSQL. Altova DiffDog database connect wizard When you compare different database types, DiffDog even resolves datatype naming inconsistencies. This means you can compare the customers table in your SQL Server database with a backup copy, for example, or you can compare the contents of any tables or your entire database schema between IBM DB2 9 and Oracle 11g implementations. Note: Altova DatabaseSpy includes the same diff/merge capabilities described here.

Database Content Differencing

It’s easy to compare database content in DiffDog. Simply connect to the database(s) required, and select the tables to be compared. DiffDog displays the compared components side-by-side, and tables and columns are mapped automatically based on configurable options. You can also change or create mapping connections manually when needed. After you click the Start Comparison button, DiffDog displays results with informative icons. In the simple example below, the content in the database tables is not equal. Next, you can launch a detailed comparison of the unequal table to see the content of the compared columns side-by-side, with differences highlighted. Tool bar buttons let you merge changes in either direction.


Database Schema Differencing

It’s just as easy to compare database schemas in DiffDog to, for example, identify and merge differences between a development and production version of the same database. All database items (e.g., data types, constraints, keys, etc.) are displayed in the comparison components so that you are able to compare the structure of the tables within the database schema. You can merge the two schemas or selected items using Left and Right buttons on the tool bar, or access more merging options via the right-click menu. DiffDog-DB-schema-diff Database schema changes aren’t merged instantly – DiffDog always creates a SQL change script compatible with your target database type that you can review before committing the changes to the database. Altova DiffDog database schema compare merge options You can also save the SQL script to a file or open it for further editing in DatabaseSpy.   Learn more about the powerful database diff/merge functionality in DiffDog. You can also download a free trial to give it a test drive.

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Solution to the Software Testing with State Machines Challenge

Last month in our blog on Software Testing for State Machines with Altova UModel we discovered unexpected behavior in our model of an air conditioning system and challenged readers to improve the design. This post describes one possible solution. When we ran the Tester application for our model, we saw that the Power switch did not turn the system off when it was in the Standby state. In the state machine diagram in our original model, the only route into Standby from Operating mode is via the Standby button, and the only way out of the Standby state is to press the Standby button again, as seen in the detail below. Detail of a state machine diagram in Altova UModel We can create an alternate exit to power off the system from the Standby state simply by drawing a new transition line from Standby to the Off state, and assigning powerButton() as the event that triggers the transition. UModel makes assigning the trigger easy by providing a pop-up window listing events that are already defined in the model. Pop-up list of triggers for transitions in a state machine diagram in Altova UModel Our completed revision to the model with the new transition from Standby to Off looks like this: State machine diagram in Altova UModel After regenerating the Java code and compiling the new version, we can run the Tester application again. The Debug output message window shows that the system entered Standby in Event 3. Event 4, activation of the Power button, now sets the state to Off. State machine test application generated by Altova UModel Find out for yourself how you can enhance the logic of your own state machine diagrams with Altova UModel – download a free 30-day trial today!

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