Service Pack 1 Available


Just a quick note to let customers of Altova Software Version 2011 Release 3 know that Service Pack 1 (v2011r3 SP1) is now available for all Altova products. In addition to bug fixes, SP1 includes important enhancements:  

Support in all XBRL-enabled MissionKit tools for the 2011 US GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy. Support for this latest version adds to existing options for working with US GAAP 2009, US GAAP 1.0, and IFRS taxonomies in XMLSpy, MapForce, and StyleVision.

SP1 also provides Firefox® 5 compatibility in the Authentic Browser Plug-in, which adds to recently announced support for Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer® 9 in the WYSIWYG XML and database content editor.

  Please note that v2011r3 SP1 is a new product version (not a patch). All customers with a license for Altova Software v2011r3, as well as any customer with an active Support and Maintenance Package for their Altova product(s), can simply download and install this update.

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The Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA) transforms data to XBRL in-house


What is XBRL and how can it help your organization? Members of the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) found out how using the interactive XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) format can help not only larger, public companies, but also smaller, non-profit organizations like themselves.clip_image004 MACPA invested in the Altova MissionKit tool suite to support their XBRL project. Using our XMLSpy XML editor; MapForce, our graphical data mapping, conversion, and integration tool; and the StyleVision visual stylesheet and report design tool, MACPA was able develop a comprehensive system that employs XBRL data for a variety of reporting functions, both internal and external.
For example, MACPA used the generated instance document from MapForce to populate their financial Key Performance Indicator (KPI) system, significantly reducing the amount of time and effort required to prepare the KPI documentation. XMLSpy was used to extend the US-GAAP taxonomy to accommodate entries specific to MACPA. clip_image002 MapForce also came in handy for mapping the Global Ledger (GL) Taxonomy to the extended GAAP taxonomy. clip_image004 As a result, MACPA has increased its working knowledge of XBRL, automated previously burdensome data collection and transformation tasks, and have gained more insight into their financial data. To read more about how MACPA utilized the Altova MissionKit to convert all their financial data to XBRL and create a model for public and private business of any size to leverage the powers of XBRL, the latest case study from Altova is a must read! Do you have a story to tell about your use of Altova tools? If so, we want to hear from you. Case studies generate great publicity. Check out recent press coverage from the MACPA case study. Plus, if we choose to use your story you will receive a $200 Amazon gift card!

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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).

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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 marketing@altova.com. We’d love to hear from you!

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Altova XBRL Resources… just in time for XBRL US


With the XBRL US conference just around the corner, it’s high time to brush up on your knowledge. Fortunately, the Altova Web site has everything you need to learn the intricacies of XBRL vernacular, XBRL taxonomy structure, how XBRL relates to XML, XBRL reporting, and more. Altova XBRL Resources

  • Free online training – a five module course providing an introduction to XBRL and the Altova MissionKIt for beginners and advanced users
  • XBRL: An Overview for Technical Users (PDF 5.62 MB) – a whitepaper that gives developers and other technical users an overview of financial statements and how XBRL can be used not only to add transparency and interactivity to business reporting, but also to streamline enterprise accounting and reporting efficiency
  • XBRL glossary – if you are new to XBRL, trust me, you’ll need this
  • XBRL tools page – just a little page that will fill you in on exactly where the MissionKit fits in the realm of XBRL reporting and compliance
  • XBRL datasheet (PDF 806 KB) – the best we could do to fit everything on one page… and my, does it look pretty

So, check out these resources, download a free 30-day trial of the MissionKit, grab a cup of coffee, and start exploring XBRL today… and don’t forget to stop by our booth next week at XBRL US in Philly!

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Updated Industry Schema Library


“The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.” – Andrew S. Tanenbaum (attr.)

Maybe we can help. Altova’s updated schema library is a collection of over 100 industry and cross-industry XML Schema and DTD specifications – all in one central location. XML standards (and technology standards in general) are used to promote information sharing and interoperability across disparate software and systems. In a perfect world, this would translate to a global network of data being exchanged seamlessly between information partners… in a perfect world. However, there are some industries that are reaping the rewards of standardization, and hopefully these efforts will pave the way for more. Very recently we have seen an increased interest and even some actionable mandates in XBRL for financial data, HL7 for exchanging healthcare messages, and NIEM for inter-agency communication within the United States government. Of course, if you do find yourself working with some conflicting technology standards, you should probably take a look at Altova MapForce. With native support for visually mapping pretty much any data formats you can think of (XML, databases, flat files, EDI, Excel 2007+, XBRL, and Web services), easily adding data processing functions, and a whole bunch of automation options, you may even find that creating data integration solutions is well… kind of fun. Check out Altova’s Industry Schema Library, or download a free 30-day trial of MapForce today!

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XML: The Power Behind XBRL


Just yesterday my new article, “Robust XML Technologies Provide an Ideal Foundation for XBRL”, was posted on the Data Interactive blog – an excellent place to get XBRL insights from financial data and technology experts. My hope here was to underline the fact that, even though it adds a very powerful semantic layer, XBRL is still based on XML. XML lends not only the convenience of extensibility, but opens the door to a whole family of technologies including XSLT, XQuery, XPath, and more. Many of our readers are familiar with all of the power and flexibility that these languages provide – and, in fact, the widespread popularity of XML technologies means that someone in your organization probably is too. Check out the full article at http://hitachidatainteractive.com/ and let your XML developers take your data out for a test drive.

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Altova XBRL Resources


In the year since the Altova MissionKit 2009 added XBRL support as a marquee feature, we have added several new technical resources for anyone starting to learn the complexities of XBRL. Many of these are uniquely focused toward our present and future customers – those who are familiar with XML and the other components that contribute to the XBRL standard, but have no hands-on experience with XBRL itself. We invite you to comb through these resources and to learn, as we have learned, how this powerful and flexible language can promote transparency and interactivity in financial reports, transactions, and internal auditing practices. · XBRL: An Overview for Technical Users – a whitepaper catered toward developers and other technical users · XBRL Training – a free, online, 5-module course that provides an introduction to XBRL technology and the MissionKit · XBRL Glossary – a comprehensive list of the technical terms that are used in describing XBRL instance documents, XBRL taxonomies, and the XBRL specification in general · XBRL Solutions Pagea brief overview of the XBRL specification and the Altova tools that support it Snap2

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