How about a new file extension for Virtual Parts. Parts that do not have any geometry associated with them. Typically they would be items such as paints, coatings, sealants, oils, grease, raw materials, etc. These need to show up in the Bill of Materials but do not need geometry. This can be achieved with .ipt files inside of .iam assemblies. But what about having a Bill of Materials inside of an .ipt part file? Could we have a new file format such as .ivt (Inventor Virtual Part) that we can have in a library (and inside of Vault) that can be placed inside of both .ipt and .iam files and have added to the BOM?
Also, the .ivt file could have an attachment associated to it such as a pdf datasheet that would provide the preview image.