Tag Archive for: XBRL

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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Altova at Microsoft PDC


clip_image001The Altova road trip continues as we head west to Microsoft PDC in Los Angeles from November 17-19 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. If you’ll be attending PDC, make sure to stop by and meet with the Altova team at booth 517. We’ll be demonstrating all the Most Wanted features of Version 2010, our latest software release that includes XBRL enhancements in XMLSpy, support for WSDL 2.0 in XMLSpy and MapForce, a new absolute positioning design paradigm in StyleVision, database schema conversion in DatabaseSpy, and much more. With the new emphasis on software modeling in Microsoft development tools, you’ll want to check out SysML and all the other new functionality in UModel 2010. We love L.A., but if you’re not going to PDC this year, be sure to check the Altova blog again later for updates about the event and more details about Version 2010.

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XMLSpy’s Most Wanted


Altova's Most Wanted When we announced that Altova Software Version 2010 included over 70 of the features most requested by our customers, we weren’t talking about little tweaks and enhancements, but major new functionality! To show you we mean business, I’ll outline some of the most requested features added to XMLSpy 2010 here.

WSDL 2.0 Support

In response to requests from from Web services developers, the graphical WSDL editor in XMLSpy 2010 now supports the latest version of the WSDL standard, WSDL 2.0. This adds to existing support for WSDL 1.1, giving you the choice of which version of the standard to work with. The WSDL editor automatically provides the correct editing environment for the version currently being utilized, and XMLSpy even provides one-step conversion capabilities for migration between WSDL 1.1 and 2.0. Since the XMLSpy WSDL editor uses a graphical interface (you can, of course, also work in Text View if you wish), you can easily visualize the structure of your WSDL document and edit it using drag-and-drop functionality and context-sensitive entry helpers, which offer the relevant choices based on the selected WSDL version.

WSDL 1.1/2.0 editor

Enhanced XBRL Functionality

Since we added support for XBRL validation and XBRL taxonomy editing in XMLSpy 2009, we’ve received excellent feedback from customers, including some feature requests that we were able to address in v2010. The new XBRL documentation generation capabilities of XMLSpy 2010 make it easy to generate comprehensive documentation – in RTF, MS Word, or HTML – for your XBRL taxonomies. Multiple options let you choose exactly what to include in the documentation, and the resulting output (snippet shown below) includes hyperlinked components for easy navigation. XBRL taxonomy documentation

Another option for documentation is to print the graphical representation of your taxonomy as it is shown in XMLSpy’s graphical XBRL view. XMLSpy 2010 also includes the new XBRL Taxonomy Wizard to give you a head start when creating a taxonomy. Simply enter the company name, ticker, or other identifier for your XBRL taxonomy, and then select the base taxonomy to extend (if any).

XBRL Taxonomy Wizard

XMLSpy creates the required taxonomy files and prompts you to select the entry points of the base taxonomy. Once you click finish, XMLSpy 2010 displays the newly created XBRL taxonomy files in the graphical XBRL Taxonomy Editor, where you can continue editing and refining the taxonomy in a visual manner. The new Find in XBRL and XBRL Sort options in XMLSpy 2010 meet customers’ requests for quick, easy ways to find data in and

navigate through large, complex XBRL taxonomies.

XBRL Taxonomy Editor

JSON Editor

We’ve recently heard from a lot of developers working on Web 2.0 and Web services apps in XMLSpy who also use JSON – so we decided to add a JSON editor in XMLSpy 2010. You can compose JSON strings in Text View or Grid View, and even convert between XML and JSON. In Text View, the JSON editor provides syntax coloring, line numbering, source folding, bookmarking, and more, making it easy to comprehend and navigate your JSON code, and find and edit strings. Intelligent JSON editing populates the Elements entry helper window with a dynamically built list of the elements present in your JSON file, which you can insert with a double-click.

JSON editor text view

Intelligent JSON editing is also available in Grid View, which provides graphical representation that shows the structure / outline of a JSON document through a set of nested containers. These can be easily expanded and collapsed to get a clear picture of the document’s tree structure, and drag-and-drop editing is supported.

JSON Editor Grid / Outline View A final must-have feature for working with JSON is the JSON <=> XML converter in XMLSpy 2010. One click lets you, for example,  convert an XML file to JSON for transport with JavaScript, or convert data received in JSON format to valid XML. No more JSON vs. XML arguments – XMLSpy gives you the best of both worlds.

Redesigned Scripting Environment & Forms Editor

XMLSpy includes an integrated scripting environment and forms editor that has been redesigned for this latest release. Scripts can be written in JScript or VBScript to access and interact with the XMLSpy API, allowing you to modify and add functionality to your installation of XMLSpy 2010. Improvements and optimizations in Version 2010 include:

  • Access to most of the .NET framework
  • New form editor controls
  • Testing & debugging of macros directly in the scripting editor
  • Execution of macros directly through XMLSpy menus
  • Improved entry-helpers & auto-completion in the scripting editor

Read more about the “most wanted” features in XMLSpy and the rest of the Altova MissionKit. Please be sure to let us know your most wanted features, either by commenting here on the blog or entering a feature request.

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XBRL Glossary


The biggest hurdle for a lot of people (myself included) when they first start looking at XBRL is the vocabulary used in the specification. There is, of course, some overlap with terminology from the XML and business reporting worlds – handy for the handful of you with a background in both – but some of the terms are entirely new and sometimes even a little cryptic (if you don’t believe me, try looking up hypercube on Wolfram for a bit of fun). Altova has published a comprehensive XBRL glossary (many thanks to Neal Hannon and Eric Cohen for their comments/suggestions) that we hope will clear some of the fog. So hopefully the next time you run headlong into a hypercube, you will feel safe knowing that hypercube has, at least in the context of XBRL, nothing to do with it.

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