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November 2008

What is XBRL

XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) is a computer language based on XML created to standardize (and thus simplify) the process of exchanging and using business information

XBRL, or Extensible Business Reporting Language, is an open standard which supports information modeling and the expression of semantics, commonly required in business reporting. XBRL is XML-based. It uses the XML syntax and related XML technologies such as XML Schema, XLink, XPath, Namespaces, etc. to articulate this semantic meaning. The XBRL Specification is developed and published by XBRL International, Inc. (XII).

XBRL documents comprise of an XBRL Instance (an XML document that contains data). An XBRL Taxonomy (Set of different XML files and XSD files that gives the structure to the data) is a dictionary of standard business terms referring to applicable accounting standards, laws such as Companies Act, and other statutory guidance.One can easily relate XBRL Instance document and Taxonomy with human body, by calling an XBRL Instance document Flesh and the taxonomy being the Bones. This completely gives us a set of XBRL Documents.

There is more information in this link.

XBRL was first conceived by Charles Hoffman in 1999. Since then, AICPA and other organizations related to financial information have been involved in the development and worldwide implementation saving costs and experiences by using a common standard syntax in the benefit of its users.

View XBRL on wikipedia.

Charles Hoffman blog

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