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SOFTWARE BILL OF MATERIALS

A “Software Bill of Materials” (SBOM) is effectively a nested inventory, a list of ingredients that make up software components. The following documents were drafted by stakeholders in an open and transparent process to address transparency around software components, and were approved by a consensus of participating stakeholders.

Introduction to SBOM

SBOM at a Glance is an introduction to the practice of SBOM, supporting literature, and the pivotal role SBOMs play in providing much-needed transparency for the software supply chain.

The FAQ document outlines detailed information, benefits, and commonly asked questions.

The Two-Page overview provides high-level information on SBOM’s background and eco-wide solution, the NTIA process, and an example of an SBOM.

SBOM Explainer Videos on YouTube

New Documents

SBOM Options and Decision Points

This resource frames the dimensions of SBOM creation and delivery, to support more consistent and effective articulation of needs between requesters and suppliers of SBOMs. 

Software Identity: Challenges and Guidance

This resource reviews the challenges of identifying software components for SBOM implementation with sufficient discoverability and uniqueness. It offers guidance to functionally identify software components in the short term and converge multiple existing identification systems in the near future.

SBOM Tool Classification Taxonomy

This resource offers a categorization of different types of SBOM tools. It can help tool creators and vendors to easily classify their work, and can help those who need SBOM tools understand what is available.

Sharing and Exchanging SBOMs 

This resource describes how SBOM data can flow down the supply chain, and provides a small set of SBOM discovery and access options to support flexibility while minimizing the burden of implementation.

Resources, Research, & Reports

The following documents, drafted and approved in 2019, provide guidance on what an SBOM is and how it can be used, and a practical case study from the healthcare sector.

Framing Software Component Transparency: Establishing a Common Software Bill of Material (SBOM)

This resource defines SBOM concepts and related terms, offers a baseline of how software components are to be represented, and discusses the processes around SBOM creation. With terminology and a background of the NTIA process, it serves as a detailed introduction to SBOM.

Roles and Benefits for SBOM Across the Supply Chain

This resource summarizes the benefits of having an SBOM from the perspective of those who make software, those who choose or buy software, and those who operate it. It characterizes the security, quality, efficiency, and other organizational benefits, as well as the potential for the broader ecosystem across the supply chain.

Survey of Existing SBOM Formats and Standards

This resource summarizes existing standards, formats, and initiatives as they apply to identifying the external components and shared libraries used in the construction of software products for SBOMs, highlighting three key formats of SPDX, CycloneDX, and SWID. The group analyzed efforts already underway by other groups related to communicating this information in a machine-readable manner.

Healthcare Proof of Concept Report

This resource documents the successful execution and lessons learned of a proof-of-concept exercise led by medical device manufacturers (MDMs) and healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs). The exercise examined the feasibility of SBOMs being generated by MDMs and used by HDOs as part of operational and risk management approaches to medical devices at their hospitals.

For more information, please contact afriedman@ntia.gov

For upcoming and archived meeting details, please visit the NTIA Software Component Transparency page.