Chapter 4. An XBRL Primer

In This Chapter

  • Getting deeper into how XBRL works

  • Satisfying your curiosity about what XBRL looks like

  • Being exposed to the technical side of XBRL

  • Getting familiar with the details every business user needs to know

In this chapter, we take a look at the physical "stuff" of XBRL, and we have to tell you that there are some tags and angle brackets. We expose XBRL to you in layers or levels, with each level building on the previous. Not everyone needs to understand XBRL at each level. Business users interact with XBRL through software tools. Good business-user software tools should hide the technical aspects of XBRL from you. We don't teach you how to use software tools here; rather, we give you a solid grounding in XBRL so that when you pick up those tools, you'll know enough about XBRL to quickly become comfortable with any XBRL tool.

We don't try to cover every nuance of XBRL in this chapter: That would be overwhelming for most of you. Instead, we focus on the important details you really need to know. We provide a solid foundation of things you'll use all the time and provide a framework you can use to grow from, if you need to. We even point you to the appropriate resources that you can use to drill into any additional details, if your heart so desires.

Getting Ready for a Geek-Fest of XBRL

In this chapter, we show you XBRL fragments from a basic but complete XBRL taxonomy and XBRL instance that you can find here:

  • XBRL taxonomy: ...

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