Authoritative Guide to SBOM

Implement and Optimize use of Software Bill of Materials



Multiple extension points exist throughout the CycloneDX object model, allowing fast prototyping of new capabilities and support for specialized and future use cases. The CycloneDX project maintains extensions that are beneficial to the larger community. The project encourages community participation and the development of extensions that target specialized or industry-specific use cases.

There are three primary means of extending CycloneDX.

  • CycloneDX properties
  • CycloneDX properties using registered namespace
  • XML extensions

Note on hardened schemas: The XML and JSON schemas are hardened by design. This prevents unexpected markup, object types, and values from being present in the SBOMs that have not been pre-defined in the schemas. Hardened schemas are required for many high-assurance use cases. The security protections inherent in hardened schemas benefit the entire CycloneDX community. While these protections are highly beneficial, they do restrict serialization formats that are not extensible by design, most notably JSON.

CycloneDX Properties

The CycloneDX standard is fully extensible, allowing for complex data to be represented in the BOM that is not provided by the core specification. In many cases, name-value pairs are a simple option. CycloneDX supports Properties which is a name-value store that can be used to describe additional data about the components, services, or the BOM that isn’t native to the core specification. Unlike key-value stores, properties support duplicate names, each potentially having different values. CycloneDX properties are a core part of the specification and are supported in all serialization formats, including XML, JSON, and protocol buffers.

JSON Example

"properties": [
    "name": "Foo",
    "value": "Bar"

XML Example

    <property name="Foo">Bar</property>

CycloneDX Properties and Registered Namespaces

The CycloneDX standard does not impose restrictions on the property names used. However, standardization can assist tool implementers and BOM consumers. CycloneDX achieves this through formally registered namespaces. These namespaces prefix the property name and are defined by the organization or project that registered the namespace.

Namespaces are hierarchical and delimited with a : and may optionally start with urn:. Examples include:


Organizations and open source projects can register a dedicated namespace at the CycloneDX Property Taxonomy repository on GitHub.

XML Extensions

XML is extensible by design. CycloneDX is a hardened schema, but it does allow for additional XML elements so long as they reside in a different namespace. This extensibility allows for representing more complex data structures in CycloneDX that would not otherwise be supported. One such extension commonly used is XML Signature, used for enveloped signing.

<bom xmlns=""
    <ds:Signature xmlns:ds="">
            <ds:CanonicalizationMethod Algorithm=""/>
            <ds:SignatureMethod Algorithm=""/>
            <ds:Reference URI="">
                    <ds:Transform Algorithm=""/>
                <ds:DigestMethod Algorithm=""/>
        <ds:KeyInfo xmlns:ds="">