I have long called for and pushed for a global public standard logical model of the semantics of XBRL-based information. XBRL International took a huge step in that direction today when it released the second version of the XBRL Abstract Model.
As of this point I have not read this document thoroughly, but I am quite confident that this is a very significant improvement over version 1.0 of this document which was a muddled UML model of the XBRL technical syntax.
The scope of the XBRL Abstract Model 2.0 is a good summary of what they are now trying to achieve:
Scope: The abstract modelling task force will be responsible for delivering an UML model which captures the semantics of the XBRL 2.1 core specification and the Dimensions 1.0 specification. The UML model will capture the fundamental¬structures and design of XBRL and XBRL Dimensions as standalone UML artefacts, decoupled from any specific XML syntactical details. The scope was expanded in December 2011 to include the use of these semantics by XBRL extension modules including Formula, Table Linkbase, Versioning, and to base the meta-model on accepted industry meta-modeling technology.
What does all this mean? Well, one thing that it means is that it validates all the work I have been doing in this direction since about 2007. What I have come up with is summarized here, Digital Financial Reporting.
While my terminology is different, the fact that I do have a logical semantic model means that all I need to do is map my logical semantic model to this XBRL International XBRL Abstract Model. Further, my model builds on the XBRL Abstract Model. My model builds on the base logical model adding in the specific things necessary for the financial reporting domain; leveraging not the XBRL technical syntax, but rather the semantics of XBRL. Said another way: basically I am in really good shape.
Further, the US GAAP Taxonomy and SEC XBRL financial reports will be distilled into the XBRL Abstract Model 2.0. Why? Well, they have to be able to be distilled down into this model or the XBRL Abstract Model 2.0 does not work. If the US GAAP Taxonomy and SEC XBRL filings don't fit into this model, the model will be tweaked (it is only a public working draft) until it does.
I would encourage anyone building software to both read and understand this XBRL Abstract Model 2.0 and to provide feedback during the public comment period so that the recommendation is as good as it can be.