Ok so say we have iBOMs, this in itself could be extended further to make it even more powerful. Imagine that all of the items in an iBOM could be iBOMs themselves from individual components through to component modules and entire projects. Then we would be able to assemble modular constructions of arbitarly complex parts we would even be able to create Meta Projects with meta iBOMs. So how do we get there, how do we get components and modules as iBOMS? Well the modules could be fairly simple as they are in control of those creating the OpenSource Hardware projects (and opensource sofware iBOMs), the tricky piece is the individual components. Well I have several ideas here; if Octopart were a third party iBOM operator they could start creating iBoms for all available components. Sure this sounds like a lot of work and they probably couldn’t do it all themselves, they would need help from the community. Here is one way they could incentivise the community. They could create a standard component description file (a component iBOM) that also included additional useful information. This could be used to not only identify the component but also produce/derive the various footprints for the component using a standard opensource tool/script. By doing this the iBom file for the component could be used by various CAD packages to bring in valuable footprint databases much needed in the community. Octopart could create a database of popular component iBoms for the open source community (ones commoly used like Atmega328s) to kick start the open iBOM DB process. That would encourage their use and also encourage others in the community to start adding their own iBoms back to the open iBOM database (basically component iBom files on say github). If the iBOMs were done correctly to also capture contextual information like the component usage (used in production) and quality (peer review/rating) perhaps a contextual metabase over the top could add qualative selection criteria magnify the iBOMs worth, this would provide confidence in the iBOMs use for a designer and proliferate there use.
Part 3 coming shortly..