IBM has reached an agreement to acquire Cloudant, a Database-as-a-Service company that stores, analyzes and distributes Web and mobile app data.

The move adds a DBaaS offering to IBM’s cloud services portfolio. The announcement did not disclose financial terms, but stated that the deal is expected to be finalized within the next few months, and once closed, Cloudant will join IBM’s newly formed Information and Analytics Group.

Cloudant is a JSON cloud-based data service that runs on the open-source Apache CouchDB NoSQL database. Cloudant offers mobile and Web developers an integrated RESTful API to store, access and scale application data in the cloud. The DBaaS stores data as JSON documents, enabling global data distribution, geographic load balancing, and data replication and syncing for mobile apps.

IBM’s acquisition of Cloudant adds to its growing IBM Cloud Platform, which already includes cloud-computing server and hosting provider SoftLayer, acquired last year. The DBaaS technology gives IBM a NoSQL-based offering to compete with products such as Amazon’s DynamoDB and Rackspace’s MongoDB-based ObjectRocket, despite IBM’s existing collaboration to develop a MongoDB standard.

“Cloudant will extend IBM’s differentiation by encouraging developers from new and existing clients to experiment with other IBM APIs that are a part of IBM’s growing Cloud Platform,” said Sean Poulley, IBM VP of databases and data warehousing. “Cloudant’s use of open standards-based interfaces provides a strong degree of integration in most scenarios today. Beyond these open interfaces, we will continue to evaluate needs and road maps for extended integration.”

Poulley also spoke to the possibilities Cloudant opens up in the open-source CouchDB community, giving IBM the chance to unify NoSQL under universal standards.

“Cloudant and Apache CouchDB have grown alongside each other, and have developed a great relationship,” Poulley said. “Through collaborations across NoSQL open-source database communities, we envision a possible long-term goal of common API and query language standards, thus providing developers and enterprise IT the most choice and flexibility in choosing a service provider or implementation.”