OmniBOR is not an SBOM. It is designed to complement SBOMs, such as SPDX, CycloneDX, or SWID.

SBOMs tend to be defined as dependency graphs of (artifact id,metadata) tuples for a wide variety of metadata.

flowchart BT
    subgraph Artifact-1 [ ]
        direction TB
        Artifact-1-ID[Artifact-1 ID]
    subgraph Artifact-2 [ ]
        direction TB
        Artifact-2-ID[Artifact-2 ID]
    subgraph Artifact-3 [ ]
        direction TB
        Artifact-3-ID[Artifact-3 ID]
    subgraph Artifact-4 [ ]
        direction TB
        Artifact-4-ID[Artifact-4 ID]
    subgraph Artifact-5 [ ]
        direction TB
        Artifact-5-ID[Artifact-5 ID]
    subgraph Artifact-6 [ ]
        direction TB
        Artifact-6-ID[Artifact-6 ID]
    subgraph Artifact-7 [ ]
        direction TB
        Artifact-7-ID[Artifact-7 ID]
    Artifact-2 --> Artifact-1
    Artifact-3 --> Artifact-1
    Artifact-4 --> Artifact-2
    Artifact-5 --> Artifact-2
    Artifact-6 --> Artifact-3
    Artifact-7 --> Artifact-3


Metadata is information about the artifact identified by the artifact id.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • vendor
  • release version
  • contact information
  • license
  • copyright

OmniBOR Compliments SBOM

OmniBOR can help SBOMs be more precise and reliable.

Most SBOMs allow for ‘external identifiers’ and can thus use gitoid to reference the artifacts in the OmniBOR Artifact Dependency Graph (ADG). This allows an SBOM describing a specific component, e.g. Component Name: Django and Component Version: 1.11.1, to reference a list of applicable OmniBOR IDs.

This is helpful because today two different tools might produce two different SBOMs for the same software artifact. This could occur if the SBOM generation tools use different sources to identify and describe the component. OmniBOR provides a precise software artifact identifier which can be used in SBOMs in situations where naming schemes may be ambiguous.

Example 1: If one SBOM generation tool uses CPEs:


and the other uses PURL:


…then these two SBOMs might diverge when they define the component supplier: it could be Component Supplier: djangoproject or Component Supplier: pypi.

Example 2: In another instance a vendor might choose to use their product’s current marketing name for the component name in their SBOM generation tools, whereas third-party SBOM generation tools might use the vendor’s product name as listed in a CPE or SWID tag.

By enabling both SBOM generation tools to list the OmniBOR ID(s) for specifically applicable Artifact Dependency Graph(s) (ADG(s)) associated with the component, an SBOM consumer can quickly understand that both SBOMs do describe the same artifact, regardless of ambiguities in naming schemes.