How to use a BOM?

Do BOM files need to conform to a specific specification? I saw SpaceCat had a new listing for a PCB which listed all components required for the build in a BOM file linked on the page.

I uploaded the BOM to Octopart and Arrow but I had trouble defining a mapping for the BOM such that it found any matching parts in their store. Does anyone know why? Is it because the author of that PCB design didn’t define the components using terms that match names of common store parts?

For reference, here is a sample of the BOM.

Component,Description,Part,References,Value,Footprint,Quantity Per PCB,Datasheet
1,Unpolarized capacitor,C_Small,C4 C5 C6 C11 C12 C13,0.1uF,C_0603,6,~
2,Unpolarized capacitor,C_Small,C7 C14,10uF,C_0603,2,~Component,Description,Part,References,Value,Footprint,Quantity Per PCB,Datasheet

It doesn’t work because there’s no part numbers, digikey, arrow, etc need an actual part number. You should be able to find something that would work from the description.

So BOM files are usually a little more specific in their part numbers than “C_Small”? That makes sense! Thanks! I don’t know what a part number usually looks like, but it’s fine.

Take a look at this as an example for your first line item.

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I just took a look at that bom, it’s pretty loose. It looks like it has part numbers for the ICs and switch etc in there, but you’ll need to find passives That match yourself.