(NOTE: This page is obsolete, please see the Digital Financial Reporting page for updated information and material.)

(If you are interested in XBRLS, be sure you are aware of what is going on with the Business Reporting Logical Model.  You can get information relating to that here in the blog.)

XBRLS (XBRL Simple Application Profile 1.0) is an technique or approach to implementing XBRL.  It can also be thought of as an application profile of XBRL.

XBRLS is 100% XBRL compliant.  The goal of this approach to using XBRL to create a documented and highly-funtional architecture useful to business users to maximize XBRL's benefits, reduce costs of implementation, and maximize the functionallity and effectiveness of XBRL.

This page summarizes information about XBRLS.  The links below are to information about XBRLS, the meta-patterns used by XBRLS, the business use cases being targeted, and a comprehensive example of the business use cases to be sure they work together correctly.  Sample taxonomies, instance documents, and document which explains these samples is also provided.

  • XBRLS: how a simpler XBRL can make a better XBRL. White paper by Rene van Egmond and Charlie Hoffman which explains why XBRLS or something like XBRLS is necessary (FINAL of 2008-03-11)
  • XBRLS Meta Patterns. (DRAFT of 2008-04-18) Contains taxonomy and instance examples of the basic meta patterns used by each business use case. (Note that the "Business Use Case Guide" below explains the meta patterns.
  • Business Use Cases. (DRAFT of 2008-04-21) Contains taxonomy and instance examples of the approximately 22 specific business use cases
  • Business Use Case Guide. (DRAFT of 2008-04-25) Explains the business use cases and the XBRLS meta patterns used to construct the business use cases.
  • Comprehensive Example. (DRAFT of 2008-04-18) Combines all the business use cases into one comprehensive example so the interrelations of the patterns can be seen and tested.
  • XBRLS Architecture. (DRAFT of 2008-04-18) Document which articulates the architecture of XBRLS.
  • XBRLS Data Model. (DRAFT of 2008-04-18) Data model of an XBRLS repository which would contain taxonomies and instance documents.

If you have any comments, questions, issues or would like further information please contact CharlesHoffman@olywa.net.

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ABSTRACT: XBRLS - how a simpler XBRL can be a better XBRL

This document presents a new approach for using XBRL that enables the non-XBRL expert to create both XBRL metadata and XBRL reports in a simple and convenient manner. At the same time, it improves the usability of XBRL, the interoperability among XBRL-based solutions and it reduces software development costs.

Today, most approaches to create XBRL reports require an in-depth understanding of the XBRL specification, but that will ultimately impede the user community from reaping the benefits that the XBRL language has to offer.  Furthermore, current practices of building XBRL taxonomies increase costs for software developers, forcing them to continually implement new and often obscure features because someone creating a taxonomy figures out a creative or clever way to make XML Schema do something interesting, when other approaches for achieving the same result may already exist.  Businesses are then forced to incur consulting fees and additional development costs in order to convert information created in XBRL, from one system's implementation of XBRL (dialect) to another system's implementation of XBRL (dialect).  This is unnecessary because there is a better way.

At risk is the pervasive use of XBRL.  If these developments are not carefully managed by XBRL International, the XBRL specification stands a big chance of being fragmented into a multitude of dialects. While the dialects can be interoperable, they can only be made to be so at the cost of high consulting fees and additional development costs, reminiscent of EDI and SGML.  Those who will suffer the most will be business users, particularly smaller business users and software vendors.

This is the aim of this document is to propose an XBRL Business Reporting application profile.  One can see this as a dialect, an approach, a technique, or an application profile.  We will use the term "profile". The profile is based on best practices and tested techniques that have been proven to work by carrying out comprehensive testing using software applications available to a businessperson.

The proposed XBRL dialect for Business Reporting, named "XBRLS", brings to bear a combination of formalized best practices and proven techniques in XBRL metadata modeling, operating procedures, and support tools that will greatly simplify  the use of XBRL for business reporting. It also simplifies the development and lowers the hurdle to market entry of XBRL tools and XBRL business applications, the very applications that promise to bring performance and cost optimizations to the business processes around internal and external reporting.

Those who stand to benefit most from the adoption of XBRLS will be the business users, business communities, regulators and the independent software vendor (ISV) community.