Glossary, Terms and Definitions

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For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply:

Term Definition Explanation
Concept A concept is an XML element defined in the substitutionGroup xbrli:item or xbrli:tuple. Concepts are the general term that refers to all elements created in the XBRL taxonomy which can serve different objectives. These different objectives (or goals) will have specialized terminology that will refer back to that term being a specialisation of 'concept'.
Data Point Model (DPM) A DPM is a systematic representation of the data of a reporting framework
Dimension A dimension (or axis, plural: axes) is an abstract concept in the substitutionGroup xbrldt:dimensionItem. It serves as a place holder for domains and their members. The combination of a dimension and one of its individual members that is tied (through a table) to a primary gives extra semantic meaning to the primary.
Domain A domain is an abstract concept in the substitutionGroup xbrli:item and is the parent in a domain-member relationship. It serves as a place holder for a group of members that are strongly (semantically) related. E.g. all individual countries are a member in the domain 'Countries'. A domain has no technical relevance, it expresses a semantically relevant group of members. A domain CAN be a member in another domain.
Families A family is an abstract concept in the substitutionGroup xbrli:item with the @type set to 'model:familyType'.
Frameworks Frameworks are public elements represented using XBRL abstract items with @type set to 'model:frameworkType' in schema 'fws.xsd'. Frameworks are defined as part of the DPM. It groups all information requirements from an owner that is not part of the dictionary.
Item An item is an abstract XML element in the substitutionGroup xbrli:item that can be used to carry facts or to represent business measurements. The item is defined by XBRL International as a placeholder for creating concepts.
(domain)Member A member is an abstract concept in the substitutionGroup xbrli:item and is the child in a domain-member relationship. A member consists in a semantic sense only as its name (a string). There are no other semantically relevant details expressed in the taxonomy on a member.
Metrics A metric is a non abstract concept in the substitutionGroup xbrli:item that is defined based on the unique combination of a (XML) type and xbrli:periodType. A metric is a sub-class of a primary; a concept that is used in XBRL for communicating facts. Primaries can however represent semantics, metrics represent only the technical uniqueness without any semantic meaning.
Namespace The unique string in the form of an URI that is the @targetNamespace content of (a set of) XML schema file(s). A namespace is the identifier for all the content a schema defines. Multiple schema's can have the same namespace if xs:include is being used.
Owner The owner represents an European institution that defines concepts, it is represented through folders, URI's in the taxonomy. The owner is the top level of everything that is defined in the data point model.
Perspectives Perspectives are extended linkroles that have a child node <link:usedOn>link:presentationLink</link:usedOn> AND contain only parent-child relationships in which families are the parent and dimensions are the child.
Primary A primary is a non abstract concept in the substitutionGroup xbrli:item that is used for carrying facts in an instance. The term primary was introduced to differentiate between elements that play a role in defining the dimensional space (tables, axes, domains, members) and the elements that actually carry facts. The introduction of this term makes it possible to differentiate between members that are abstract (cannot hold facts) and members that are not abstract (can hold facts).
Public elements Public elements are XBRL concepts in the data point model. They are identified by a code in a certain scope. They MAY include additional information such as readable labels, definitions and legal references in different languages.
Secondary concepts Secondary concepts are abstract concepts that are used for grouping dimensions for presentation purposes.
SubstitutionGroup An XML attribute to classify a complexType of simpleType element so its construction can be re-used by other elements. XBRL has defined two substitutionGroups which must hold all concepts: item and tuple. XDT has derived two special substitutionGroups: dimensionItem and hypercubItem which are a derivation from item.
Taxonomies Taxonomies are public elements represented using XBRL abstract items with @type set to 'model:taxonomyType' in schema 'tax.xsd'. Taxonomies are defined as part of the DPM. It represents a version of the framework; kind like a 'name' for the set of definitions used in the framework that are not part of the dictionary. There is a virtual link with the XBRL term 'taxonomy' which is a set of concepts with their relationships and definitions. The XBRL taxonomy has much wider definition than the EXTA one.
Tuple A tuple is a complex abstract element that represents sets of facts that are dependent on each other. A tuple may contain both items and other tuples.

Applicable taxonomy 
An XBRL taxonomy recognised to use as a base for filings in a given filing system.
Data point 
A data point is an information component that is defined by a supervisory authority to be sent in an instance document. In XBRL a data point is represented by a fact, its value and related dimensional combinations.
A dimension is an xs:element in the substitutionGroup of xbrldt:dimensionItem; it relates to the ability to express multidimensional information;
A schema or linkbase in the applicable taxonomy that represents the filing requirements and gets mentioned in the instance by the reporter.
A fact is an occurrence in an instance document of an element with a mandatory contextRef attribute and optional attributes like unitRef, xml:lang or xsi:nil.
A reporting entity.
A filing is the fundamental unit of information that is transmitted to a filing system for receipt, validation and acceptance. It is the conveyance of an XBRL instance document or series of XBRL instance documents.
Filing system 
A system in which XBRL instance documents are filed, received, analysed and redistributed.
A footnote is used to associate text annotations with particular facts in an XBRL instance document.
Instance document 
An instance document is an XBRL file carrying facts. An instance document originating with a filer can only be sent as part of a filing. A filing comprises of one or more instance documents.
A linkbase is an XML file according to the XBRL 2.1 specification, containing relationships between concepts, resources and concepts and resources providing labels and references. There are different kinds of linkbases. One of them is the formula linkbase containing business rules in the syntax as prescribed by the XBRL Formula Specification.
Publisher of the schema 
Organisation responsible for publishing a given XBRL taxonomy.
Reporting entity 
A reporting entity is a institution or company with an obligation to prepare supervisory reports for national or European supervisory authorities.
In the XBRL context, an electronic dictionary of business reporting elements relevant for reporting business data. A taxonomy is composed of an XML Schema and one or more linkbases directly referenced by that schema. ; Taxonomy creator : see Publisher of the schema
XBRL specific terms like context, unit, period, entity, s-equal, v-equal see XBRL 2.1

Unified Modelling Language
World Wide Web Consortium
eXtensible Business Reporting Language
eXtensible Markup Language


In software development terminology, the word container is used to describe any component that can contain other components inside itself.

Content-related validations

validations applied to the content of a specific file or document.

Core concept

is a simplified data model that captures the minimal, global characteristics/attributes of an entity in a generic, country- and domain-neutral fashion. It can be represented as ‘Core Vocabulary’ using different formalisms, for example XML (eXtensible Markup Language).

Core vocabulary

is a simplified, reusable, and extensible data model that captures the fundamental characteristics of an entity in a context-neutral fashion [EGOV-CV]. Well known examples of existing Core Vocabularies include the Dublin Core Metadata Set [DC]. Such Core Vocabularies are the starting point for agreeing on new semantic interoperability assets and defining mappings between existing assets. Semantic interoperability assets that map to or extend such Core Vocabularies are the minimum required to guarantee a level of cross-domain and cross-border interoperability that can be attained by public administrations.


is about using the tools and systems made possible by information and communication technologies (ICTs) to provide better public services to citizens and businesses

European Interoperability Strategy (EIS)

The European Interoperability Strategy (EIS) provides the basis for defining the organisational, financial and operational framework (including governance) needed to ensure on-going support for cross-border and crosssector interoperability, as well as the exchange of information among European public administrations.

European public service (EPS)

A cross-border public sector service supplied by public administrations, either to one another or to European businesses and citizens.

Full container

A container submitted to an authority containing XBRL instances containing a full set of reporting data set as defined by the authority; it will not only respect all structural validations, but also all content-related XBRL validations.


In a computer file, a header may be a field that precedes the main file content and describes the length of the content or other characteristics of the file.

In a network transmission unit, a header precedes the data or control signals and describes something about the file or transmission unit, such as its length and whether there are other files or transmission units logically or physically associated with this one.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Technology, e.g. electronic computers, computer software and communications technology, used to convert, store, protect, process, transmit and retrieve information.

initial container

A container submitted to an authority containing an initial set of XBRL instances for a certain period, entity and reporting type; an initial container will be marked as such in the header XML instance.


Within the context of European public service delivery, it is the ability of disparate and diverse organisations to interact towards mutually beneficial and agreed common goals, involving the sharing of information and knowledge between the organisations, through the business processes they support, by means of the exchange of data between their respective ICT systems.

partial container

A container submitted to an authority containing XBRL instances covering a subset of the reporting data set defined by the authority; it will respect all structural validations, but not necessarily all content-related XBRL validations (some of these validations will simply fail because of the lack of some data in the partial container).

update container

A container submitted to an authority containing XBRL instances covering a correction of the latest initial container sent; it will be marked as such in the header XML instance and is usually a partial container

semantic interoperability

It is the ability of information and communication technology (ICT) systems and the business processes they support to exchange data and to enable the sharing of information and knowledge: Semantic Interoperability enables systems to combine received information with other information resources and to process it in a meaningful manner (European Interoperability Framework 2.0). It aims at the mental representations that human beings have of the meaning of any given data.

Semantic Interoperability Centre Europe (SEMIC.EU)

SEMIC.EU (Semantic Interoperability Centre Europe) is a collaborative platform and service offered by the European Commission to support the sharing of interoperability assets to be used in public administrations and eGovernment (


Short for Standard Generalized Markup Language, a system for organizing and tagging elements of a document. SGML was developed and standardized by the International Organization for Standards (ISO) in 1986. SGML itself does not specify any particular formatting; rather, it specifies the rules for tagging elements. These tags can then be interpreted to format elements in different ways.

SGML is used widely to manage large documents that are subject to frequent revisions and need to be printed in different formats. Because it is a large and complex system, it is not yet widely used on personal computers. However, the growth of Internet, and especially the World Wide Web, is creating renewed interest in SGML because the World Wide Web uses HTML, which is one way of defining and interpreting tags according to SGML rules.


As defined in European legislation (Article 1, paragraph 6, of Directive 98/34/EC), a standard is a technical specification approved by a recognised standardisation body for repeated or continuous application, with which compliance is not compulsory and which is one of the following:

  • international standard: a standard adopted by an international standardisation organisation and made available to the public,
  • European standard: a standard adopted by a European standardisation body and made available to the public,
  • national standard: a standard adopted by a national standardisation body and made available to the public.
standards developing organisation

A chartered organisation tasked with producing standards and specifications, according to specific, strictly defined requirements, procedures and rules. Standards developing organisations include: recognised standardisation bodies such as international standardisation committees such as the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the three European Standard Organisations: the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC) or the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI); for a and consortia initiatives for standardisation such as the Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) or the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).


A command inserted in a document that specifies how the document, or a portion of the document, should be formatted, or gives information about the content of it. Tags are used by all format specifications that store documents as text files. This includes SGML and XML.


A taxonomy represents a classification of the standardised terminology for all terms used within a knowledge domain. In a taxonomy, all elements are grouped and categorised in a strict hierarchical way, and are usually represented by a tree structure. In a taxonomy, the individual elements are required to reside in the same semantic scope, so all elements are semantically related with one another to one degree or another.


Set of conditions that verify that something is correct or conforms to a certain standard. In data collection or data entry, it is the process of ensuring that the data that are entered fall within the accepted boundaries of the application/process collecting the data.


A vocabulary is a set of terms (words or phrases) that describe information in a particular domain.


The organisation of a process into a sequence of tasks that are performed by duly designated sets of actors fulfilling given roles in order to complete the process.


Short for eXtensible Business Reporting Language, an XML-based specification for publishing the financial information of an enterprise. The standardization of the specification makes it easier for public and private companies to share information with each other and with industry analysts across all software formats and technologies, including the Internet. XBRL uses XML data tags based on standardized accounting industry definitions to describe financial information for public and private companies and other organizations. The financial information includes such data as annual and quarterly reports, SEC filings, general ledger information, net revenue and accountancy schedules.


Short for eXtensible Markup Language, a specification developed by the W3C. XML is a pared-down version of SGML, designed especially for Web documents. It allows designers to create their own customized tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations.

XML Schema or XSD

XSD is a short for XML Schema Definition, a way to describe and validate data in an XML environment. (A schema is a model for describing the structure of information.) XSD is a recommendation of the W3C, and is defined in the W3C's XML Schema Working Group Working Draft published on May 6, 1999. TC XBRL WI XBRL002:2012 (E)

structural validations

XML schema validations and structural XBRL validations (XBRL 2.1, Dimensions 1.0 etc. or higher)

content-related validations

validations like calculations or formulas

Supervisor (aka regulator) (aka authority)

a regulatory body that defines the content and structure of filings for the regulated entities as well as the corresponding XBRL taxonomies

the authority is the receiver of the XBRL Instance documents. The Authority is responsible of receiving of the package, validation and creation of the feedback message to be sent back to the Declarer, with the result of the validations

reporting entity (aka declarer)

role of an entity legally responsible and submitted to regulatory reporting; this role may be assured either with inhouse resources or with the help of technical and functional senders

technical sender

role of an entity responsible for creating the header, the package, the compression, the signature, the encryption and the submission (transport) to the Authority

functional sender

role of an entity responsible for figures in the reports, i.e. the correct content of XBRL Instance Documents

Eurofiling project is an open joint initiative of the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) in in collaboration with XBRL Europe, as well as stakeholders as banks, solutions providers, academy and individuals. The deliverables are Data Models, XBRL taxonomies, know-how and materials for Supervisory Frameworks: COREP, FINREP and Solvency II.
ESFS European System of Financial Supervisors 
Before and during the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008, the European Parliament has called for a move towards more integrated European supervision in order to ensure a true level playing field for all actors at the level of the European Union and to reflect the increasing integration of financial markets in the Union. As a result, the supervisory framework was strengthened to reduce risk and severity of future financial crises. European System of Financial Supervisors that comprises three European Supervisory Authorities, one for the banking sector (EBA), one for the securities sector (ESMA) and one for the insurance and occupational pensions sector (EIOPA), as well as the European Systemic Risk Board.
The European Banking Authority was established by Regulation (EC) No. 1093/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010.
The EBA has officially come into being as of 1 January 2011 and has taken over all existing and ongoing tasks and responsibilities from the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS).
The EBA acts as a hub and spoke network of EU and national bodies safeguarding public values such as the stability of the financial system, the transparency of markets and financial products and the protection of depositors and investors.
The EBA has some quite broad competences, including preventing regulatory arbitrage, guaranteeing a level playing field, strengthening international supervisory coordination, promoting supervisory convergence and providing advice to the EU institutions in the areas of banking, payments and e-money regulation as well as on issues related to corporate governance, auditing and financial reporting.
To achieve a high level of harmonization and strong convergence in regular supervisory reporting requirements, EBA has been developing guidelines on supervisory reporting with the aim of setting up a supervisory reporting model with common data definitions. The Guidelines on Financial Reporting cover consolidated and sub-consolidated financial reporting for supervisory purposes based on IAS/IFRS as endorsed by the European Union.The original Guidelines on FINREP were issued by the Committee of European Banking Supervisors in December 2005. Agreed changes in IFRS were incorporated into the latest FINREP published in December 2009.
Further major changes to the accounting standards which will impact FINREP are expected. The revised FINREP will be reviewed in due course to take account of the changes in accounting standards.

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) was established in consequence of the reforms to the structure of supervision of the financial sector in the European Union. The reform was initiated by the European Commission, following the recommendations of a Committee of Wise Men, chaired by Mr. de Larosière, and supported by the European Council and Parliament.
EIOPA’s main goals are:
  • Better protecting consumers, rebuilding trust in the financial system.
  • Ensuring a high, effective and consistent level of regulation and supervision taking account of the varying interests of all Member States and the different nature of financial institutions.
  • Greater harmonisation and coherent application of rules for financial institutions & markets across the European Union.
  • Strengthening oversight of cross-border groups.
  • Promote coordinated European Union supervisory response.
EIOPA’s core responsibilities are to support the stability of the financial system, transparency of markets and financial products as well as the protection of policyholders, pension scheme members and beneficiaries. EIOPA is commissioned to monitor and identify trends, potential risks and vulnerabilities stemming from the micro-prudential level, across borders and across sectors.
EIOPA is an independent advisory body to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission.
The Solvency II Directive 2009/138/EC is an EU Directive that codifies and harmonises the EU insurance regulation. Primarily this concerns the amount of capital that EU insurance companies must hold to reduce the risk of insolvency.
Once the Omnibus II directive is approved by the European Parliament, Solvency II will be scheduled to come into effect. [1] [2]
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