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A table linkbase establishes a standard way to create views of the concepts defined in XBRL taxonomies that overcomes most of the limitations of the presentation linkbase. Rather than providing a simple arrangement of concepts as a hierarchy, it enables the definition of tables with multiple axes. The components of these axes are not limited to individual items; instead, they can be defined in terms of a combination of dimensions, time period references, units, entities or any other property that can be used to identify the financial facts represented by taxonomies.
Presentation linkbases, according to the XBRL 2.1 specification, establish relationships between items in a taxonomy for presentation purposes. For many years, this resource has allowed taxonomy authors to arrange sets of concepts into hierarchical representations, helpful to convey better the meaning of those financial concepts as part of a group, rather than as isolated, individual elements. These relationships have served other purposes, such as the creation of user interfaces, or the rendering of instance documents. Simple balance sheets and profit & loss statements are a good example.
The release of XBRL Dimensions introduced a new degree of flexibility in the design of taxonomies. It enabled the modelling of complex data and richer relationships. However, under this specification, a financial concept could be expressed as the combination of several elements (primary item plus a variable number of pairs dimension / members) rather than as a single item. This new facility surfaced an important limitation in the capabilities of XBRL to express presentations or views of multidimensional models. This has been partially solved in different projects using different approaches.
The purpose of the table linkbase is to provide taxonomy authors with a standard way to define views of the concepts defined in XBRL taxonomies that overcomes most of the limitations of the presentation linkbase. Rather than providing a simple arrangement of concepts as a hierarchy, it enables the definition of tables with multiple axes. The components of these axes are not limited to individual items; instead, they can be defined in terms of a combination of dimensions, time period references, units, entities or any other property that can be used to identify the financial facts represented by taxonomies.
As a consequence, a table linkbase provides a better understanding of the concepts modelled in taxonomy files by combining them with other concepts as part of tables. A table represents a subset of the complete model provided by a taxonomy, and thus it could be used to represent reporting requirements (for instance, the subset of data required by a supervisor); to represent a view of the data for analytical purposes; or to present an instance document in a certain way.
Though formatting artefacts are not part of the table linkbase, tables are intended to be the foundation of the rendering specification. Tables identify the data to be rendered, its order and some basic graphical arrangement. This specification will be complemented by the rendering specification to allow the possibility of specifying accurately the way an instance document ought to be rendered and the way its content should be formatted.
This overview provides examples and explanations as an introduction to the syntax and semantics of the table linkbase. The accompanying specifications provide the feature descriptions in a rigorous manner for implementation and validation.
The figures below provide a model of XBRL table classes, showing the mapping of classes to the table linkbase specifications Figure 1 and a model showing how XBRL Tables can, as an example of their use, participate in XBRL rendering semantics Figure 2.
The use cases are categorized as follows, and correspond to test variations for reference:
Corresponds to XBRL examples of Eurofiling forms, usually represented by spreadsheet workbooks with multiple worksheet tables, each in a fixed format.
Corresponds to XBRL examples of Eurofiling forms where a range of rows or columns represent a variable number of entries (here distinguished by a typed dimension value).
Corresponds to US-GAAP or IFRS filings.
The y-axis (rows) are:
The y-axis provides the presentation linkbase. In the sample RR instances provided, standard link roles were used, so dynamic discovery (the case of US-GAAP filings) is not required.
The x-axis provides two dimensions in two axes (Cartesian products of member possibilities, with non-occupied combinations elided, because only some make sense.)
Requires an open axis for the rows to identify participating tuples from the GL instance
that have the required contents, based on their location. Uses
selectionAxis to identify these tuples.
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This document could not have been written without the contributions of many people.
|01 October 2011||Herm Fischer||
|11 October 2011||Hugh Wallis||
Incorporated comments from Victor Morilla regarding the abstraction of this specification away from the specific rendering use case
|13 October 2011||Herm Fischer||
Revised abstract and introduction per Victor Morilla
|14 October 2011||Hugh Wallis||
Editorial in abstract and introduction
|03 November 2011||Herm Fischer||
Working group updates: replace prior aspectRuleAxis. Replace relationshipAxis model with subtrees of compositions and abstract relationshipAxes that have concrete instances of conceptRelationships and dimensionalRelationships. Replace axis-member notion with that of axis subtree composition.
|19 December 2011||Herm Fischer|
This appendix contains a list of the errata corrections that have been incorporated into this document. This represents all those errata corrections that have been approved by the XBRL International Rendering Working Group up to and including 21 December 2011.
No errata have been incorporated into this document.