XBRL International Dimensions Specification released as Recommendation


3 October 2006



XBRL International has released its Dimensions 1.0 Specification as a Recommendation.  This is the final stage of approval by XBRL International, confirming that the specification represents consensus within the XBRL International community and that the International Steering Committee considers that it is suitable for general deployment.  No substantive changes have been made to the previous version of the Dimensions 1.0 Specification or its schemas, published in July as Candidate Release 4.


The Dimensions Specification is a modular, optional extension to the XBRL 2.1 Specification allowing XBRL taxonomy authors to define and restrict dimensional information for instance authors to use in the segment and scenario elements of the context element of XBRL instances.


A typical example of its use is the ability to define regional and product dimensions for basic fact elements such as sales – although its potential uses go far beyond this simple case.  The specification provides an important extension of the ability of XBRL to represent easily and efficiently the dimensional information which exists in business reporting.  It offers a generalised mechanism to define dimensional metadata and to reference it in XBRL instances. 


The architecture of the Dimensions Specification is such that any XBRL artefacts (instances and their Discoverable Taxonomy Sets) that conform to this specification also conform to the XBRL 2.1 Specification.  They may thus be processed without error by any processor that is capable of correctly processing XBRL artefacts, even if those processors are unaware of this modular extension.  It is also designed in such a way that it makes maximum use of components of the XBRL 2.1 Specification so as to require a minimum amount of retooling of applications for implementation. 


It satisfies XBRL International’s dimensional taxonomy requirements, which are available on Specification Requirements.


See the FAQ for more information on the Dimensions Specification and Specifications – Recommendations for the full Specification and supporting information.


Any comments or questions on the Dimensions Specification or other XBRL International technical documents may be sent to spec@xbrl.org or directly to the editors of the relevant documents. 




Announced by:

Peter Calvert

XBRL International