Tag Archive for: XBRL

Announcing RaptorXML, the Hyper-fast XML and XBRL Server


  clip_image001We are very excited to be at the XBRL 26 Conference in Dublin, Ireland today to announce a brand new server product in the Altova family of XML and XBRL tools! Altova RaptorXML is a hyper-fast XML and XBRL validation and processing server. It’s Altova’s third-generation XML and XBRL engine, built completely from scratch to help organizations efficiently validate, process, transform, and query the vast and ever-increasing amounts XML and XBRL data being generated as a result of XBRL compliance regulations and myriad other big data trends. RaptorXML is written to be highly scalable for today’s multi-CPU and multi- core computers and servers. This, along with high performance code optimizations and an extremely low memory footprint, has helped make RaptorXML a lightning-fast XML and XBRL server that can meet the demands of today’s data processing applications. Simply put: we architected RaptorXML to combine the performance benefits afforded by modern parallel computing environments with strict compliance to the latest versions of all relevant XML and XBRL standards. RaptorXML includes support for the very latest versions of all relevant standards and has been submitted to rigorous regression and conformance testing. The server will be available in two versions, both of which are available for Windows, Linux, and MacOS platforms. RaptorXML Server supports validation and processing of:

  • XML 1.0 & 1.1
  • XInclude 1.0
  • Xlink 1.0
  • XML Schema 1.0 & 1.1
  • XPath 1.0, 2.0 & 3.0
  • XSLT 1.0, 2.0 & 3.0 (subset)
  • XQuery 1.0 & 3.0
  • And more

RaptorXML+XBRL Server supports all the features of RaptorXML Server, with the addition of processing and validating the XBRL family of standards:

  • XBRL 2.1
  • XBRL Dimensions
  • XBRL Formula 1.0
  • XBRL Functions
  • XBRL Definition Links

Developers creating solutions using Altova MissionKit XML development and XBRL development tools will be able to power their server applications with RaptorXML for hyper-performance, increased throughput, and efficient memory utilization, giving them the opportunity to validate and process large amounts of XML or XBRL data cost-effectively.  Check out the complete list of supported XML and XBRL standards and more details on this groundbreaking new server product. RaptorXML will be available to download and purchase in May. clip_image003

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New Case Study: Automating XBRL Data Collection and Processing


Case studies are a great way to see how other organizations use Altova® technologies to develop unique projects that meet their business goals. We’re often asked, however, what comes next. Did the project take off? Has it grown since the case study was published?

We’re happy to bring you a follow up to a case study we published last year about the not-for-profit Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA).
In the original case study, MACPA converted General Ledger and other financial data from siloed systems into XBRL – in house and on a budget – with the Altova MissionKit®. At that point, they were mapping the XBRL file to multiple external targets, including an Excel spreadsheet used to feed their Key Performance Indicators (KPI) system. (You can read the original XBRL case study here.)

Since that time, they’ve built on the foundation they created and developed a business intelligence dashboard driven by the XBRL files they generate in MapForce®. They used Altova FlowForce®, an application designed to automate the execution of MapForce data transformations and other tasks on servers, virtual machines, and workstations, to automate the XBRL data collection and processing. Now the most recent data is available across the entire organization for custom reporting.

You can read the follow-up to the original XBRL case study here.

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Read more about how they did it. Read more…

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Case Study: Altova Customer Succeeds with XBRL


XBRL is mandated for most public companies. So why are private organizations and non-profits jumping on the bandwagon? This case study examines a real-world success story. clip_image002   We were really excited when the folks at MACPA told us about their success working with XBRL. They set out to discover if XBRL could be used successfully (without a huge upfront investment) by small businesses and NPOs and ended up confirming not only that, but realizing benefits to their internal financial processes, as well.

Toward Ubiquitous XBRL

With close to 10,000 members, the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA) is often looked to for their expertise on issues relevant to the field of accounting. The US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) mandate that public companies submit financial data in XBRL is one of those issues. Despite the potential of XBRL for reducing costs and increasing efficiency, many organizations are concerned about the time and expense that will be required to convert all of their financial data into XBRL, a process that can be further complicated when financial data is housed in multiple systems. MACPA set out to prove that these obstacles are easily surmountable: with the right tools, it’s possible to bring XBRL transformation in-house to not only comply with mandates, but realize greater efficiencies and transparency in various scenarios. In the process they discovered that tagging data in XBRL is valuable to private entities and non-profits as well as public companies facing a mandate. They took advantage of widely available XBRL software tools including the Altova MissionKit, which interfaces with multiple relational databases for XBRL mapping, tagging, and reporting.   clip_image003   In the end, the project turned MACPA’s financial data into a force for driving efficiencies and accountability. Once their internal accounting data was mapped to XBRL, they were able to automate burdensome data collection, transformation, and analysis tasks to gain more insight into their financial data. For instance, MACPA used their XBRL data to populate their financial Key Performance Indicator (KPI) system, significantly reducing the amount of time and effort required to prepare the KPI documentation. This in turn enables them to run the system at more frequent intervals. They are also now able to automate previously onerous tax filing tasks by mapping the association’s financial data in XBRL to the 990 tax return. (With almost 1.5 million exempt organizations in the US filing hundreds of thousands of Form 990s each year, the efficiency gained by using XBRL could be significant.)

“Ubiquitous XBRL could do for accounting/taxation what barcodes did for retail.” – Skip Falatko, MACPA Director of Finance and Administration

This project not only enabled MACPA to learn about XBRL and advise their members, but also to automate and enhance the way they dealt with their own financial data. And utilizing affordable tools like the Altova MissionKit confirmed that handling XBRL in-house is the way to go.

“Why outsource tagging [your data in XBRL]? If you tag it in house, then you own the data and can use it in myriad different ways as a productivity tool.” – Tom Hood, MACPA CEO and Executive Director  

Check out the complete case study to learn how MACPA brought XBRL transformation in-house to effect changes in efficiency and transparency. If you’re an accounting or technical professional who needs to learn more about XBRL, Altova offers free, self-paced online training and an educational XBRL whitepaper.

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Leverage Your Financial Data with the XBRL Chart Wizard–Part 2


Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is an XML-based language for reporting and exchanging financial data that’s making inroads across the globe. In fact the US Securities and Exchange Commission now requires public companies to submit financial data in XBRL format.Altova’s MissionKit, a suite of our most popular software, supports XBRL tagging via XMLSpy and MapForce as well as XBRL rendering via StyleVision. With StyleVision you can create sophisticated financial reports including charts and tables based on XBRL instance files. image This is the second post in our two part series on StyleVision’s XBRL chart capabilities. In our last post we showed you how to call the XBRL Chart Wizard and create pie charts. This time we’ll show you how to create bar charts and line charts. Bar Charts Bar charts are the ideal vehicle for comparing groups of objects or visualizing change from one period to another. Here we’ve used the XBRL Chart Wizard to create a bar chart comparing Current Assets to Current Liabilities from the third quarters of two consecutive years. After invoking the XBRL Chart Wizard as we did in the very first step, we select Current Assets and Current Liabilities in the Concepts tab and place it in the Series pane so that these amounts will be reflected on the Y or vertical axis. clip_image001 Now we click the ellipses in the Period tab in the Categories pane to bring up the Period Properties dialog box. Assets and Liabilities are measured at specific points in time and so we have checked the Show instant periods box. We’ve also filtered the data using XPath so that only assets and liabilities at the end of the third quarter (which ends in August) appear. Finally we add a dynamic label that combines “Q3” with the year using XPath. clip_image002 In addition to the bar chart, we’d like to include the Quick Ratio, a measure that indicates whether an organization has enough readily liquidated resources to cover outstanding financial obligations. The Quick Ratio is simply Current Assets divided by Current Liabilities. We’ve added an auto calculation and used XPath to divide Current Assets by Current Liabilities for all time periods in the XBRL instance document. Below is the design view of our bar chart and auto calculation, including the XPath. clip_image003 The HTML output appears below. However we can also render the design in RTF, PDF, and Word 2007+. clip_image004 Line Charts A line chart has a line connecting discrete points plotted on a graph and is typically used to track how financial and other data varies over time. In this example we’ve created a line chart to track two concepts – costs / expenses and revenue – over a four year period. Just as we did for the pie chart and bar chart, we’ve dragged a concept (here, Revenues) from the Schema Tree into the design window and invoked the XBRL Chart Wizard. Likewise, once the Chart Wizard opens, we clicked on the ellipses on the Concepts tab in the Series pane to bring up the Concept Properties dialog box, where we selected the Costs and Expenses concept. Costs and Expenses will now appear on the chart along with Revenues. Our XBRL file includes both instance and duration time periods so in the Period Properties dialog box below (invoked by clicking on the ellipses in the Period tab in the Categories pane) we’ve selected only duration periods, or those with a start and end date. We will now use XPath to filter the data. We’ll create a variable $altova:duration that translates the difference in number of days between the start and end dates of the period into the number of months and then selected data where that variable is equal to three (equivalent to a fiscal quarter). We’ve also used XPath to create a dynamic label combining Q3 with the year. clip_image005 Because our line chart is visualizing changes in revenue and costs and expenses over time, we have used the Sort function in the Period Properties dialog box above so that the data appear chronologically. clip_image006 Although the appearance of the chart (e.g., colors, labels, and visibility of tick marks and axis values) can be controlled with the All Settings button in the Chart Settings section of the XBRL Chart Wizard dialog box, it can also be controlled with XPath via the Dynamic XPath Settings button under Chart Settings (below). clip_image007 This feature provides tremendous flexibility not only in managing appearance but in managing the contents of the chart. Among the many things you can do with XPath are controlling output based on conditions and adding a dynamic title that includes the time period reflected as we’ve done here. Once you click the Dynamic XPath Settings button in the XBRL Chart Wizard dialog box (above), the Dynamic XPath Settings dialog box is invoked (below). clip_image008 Clicking the ellipses next to the property that you want to edit in the Dynamic XPath Settings dialog box (above) brings up the Edit XPath Expression dialog box (below). Here we’ve used XPath to concatenate a string (“Revenues / Costs and Expenses”) with the first and last years in the period we identified in the Period Properties dialog box earlier. clip_image009 The XPath expression entered here will overrule the settings in the Change Appearance and XBRL Chart Wizard dialog boxes – notice in the chart (here rendered in HTML) includes the dynamic title that we built with XPath rather than the title in the XBRL Chart Wizard Dialog Box. clip_image010 As we’ve shown here, the XBRL Chart Wizard provides developers and designers with a highly flexible tool for visualizing XBRL data. With XBRL’s place in the international technology sector firmly established, the ability to leverage XBRL data to support strategic decision making is key. There are a number of different types of companies that are discovering the strategic value of XBRL. Our XBRL case study describes how the Maryland Association of CPAs streamlined their tax reporting and benchmarking processes with XBRL. This case study is a great resource for anyone interested in learning how to leverage this data with Altova software tools.

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Have you created something really great with the XBRL Chart Wizard? Or developed an interesting project using StyleVision or another of our tools? 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 – if we choose to use your story you’ll receive a $200 Amazon gift card as well as some free press for you and your organization. We’d love to hear from you!

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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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