What is Cloudant?

IBM Cloudant® is a distributed database that is optimized for handling heavy workloads that are typical of large, fast-growing web and mobile apps. Available as an SLA-backed, fully managed IBM Cloud™ service, Cloudant elastically scales throughput and storage independently.

Cloudant is also available as a downloadable on-premises installation, and its API and powerful replication protocol are compatible with an open source ecosystem that includes Apache CouchDB™, PouchDB and libraries for the most popular web and mobile development stacks.

Develop locally with Apache CouchDB™

Cloudant features

Fully managed

The IBM Cloud service provides a fully managed, distributed JSON document database. Instantly deploy an instance, create databases and independently scale thoughput capacity and data storage to meet your application requirements. IBM expertise takes away the pain of hardware and software provisioning, patching and upgrades — while offering a 99.95 percent SLA.


Cloudant is HIPAA ready, and compliant with ISO 27001 and SOC 2 Type 2. All data is encrypted over the wire and at rest with optional user-defined key management through IBM Key Protect. Cloudant also offers an EU-managed service, which ensures all data and operations are handled solely by EU citizens.

Global availability

Available in all IBM Cloud regions and 55+ data centers around the world, Cloudant can easily support disaster recovery between continents. In addition, Cloudant can scale an app for a global release through a horizontal scaling architecture that can handle millions of users and terabytes of data to grow seamlessly alongside your business. All Cloudant instances are deployed on clusters that span availability zones in regions that support them, for added durability at no extra cost.

Data flexibility

Leverage a flexible JSON schema and powerful API that is compatible with Apache CouchDB, enabling you to access an abundance of language libraries and tools to rapidly build new applications and features.

Durable replication

Move application data closer to all the places it needs to be — for uninterrupted data access, offline or on. Cloudant helps teams build progressive web apps, develop with an offline-first architecture, or manipulate data on edge devices.

Powerful serverless API

Enhance your applications with built-in key value, MapReduce, full-text search, and geospatial querying that goes beyond simple bounding boxes. Stream the changes feed for seamless integration with event-driven applications and IBM Cloud functions.

How customers use it

Web and mobile apps

Build point-of-sale mobile applications using analytics to personalize shopping experiences.

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Diagram representing use of Cloudant with a point of sale app

AI solutions

Create powerful cognitive applications by connecting IBM Watson® machine learning to data stored in Cloudant.

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Diagram representing use of Cloudant and AI with an advanced healthcare application

IoT apps

Analyze Internet of Things (IoT) sensor data stored in flexible Cloudant schemas to trace end-to-end shipments and detect anomalies.

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Graphic for IoT apps

Customer success stories

Start building with Cloudant

Move application data closer to all the places it needs to be – for trusted uninterrupted access, offline or on.