Update on the OIM

Posted on February 25, 2019 by Editor

The Open Information Model is a key part of the modernisation and simplification of the XBRL standard. While the existing specifications will absolutely continue to be supported and improved for the foreseeable future, the OIM represents an important step forward. Producing digital business reports in XML is not always the most convenient syntax and the OIM simplifies a range of technical aspects of the original XML representation of digital reports.

Our technical Working Groups have been busy working to bring these new capabilities to life. While not quite yet at the level of Recommendation, (the OIM is still being tested and polished) many vendors are already working with the new formats.

What does it mean for current and new users of XBRL structured data? The OIM makes it possible to use a range of different syntax structures to create XBRL reports.

For example, the xBRL-CSV format means that highly granular data can be presented in Comma Separated Values (yes including in Excel format) while still being tightly defined in a taxonomy, fully validated, and subject to any necessary business rule constraints. All with minimal retooling. Dealing with tens of thousands .. or millions of facts? Consider OIM-CSV!

The xBRL-JSON format is ideally suited to the web and thanks to a significant amount of work, is clear and very easy to understand and use for developers coming fresh to XBRL.

It’s more than possible [Ed: We’ll see!] that even non developers can – just by reading – work out what a fact in a snippet of xBRL-JSON means.

Those familiar with traditional XBRL XML representation will recognise how much simpler the new approach is. Those that aren’t… will hopefully learn the OIM approach before long.

Interested? Members can join the OIM Working Group to learn and contribute. Non-members can comment on the existing proposals over on our Specifications site… or better still, join the consortium and then join the working group! Developers should think about how they might be best able to take advantage of these new approaches.

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