Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President for the Data Platform Group at Microsoft, took to The Official Microsoft Blog to announce that SQL Server 2014 has been released to manufacturing. The long-awaited version of Microsoft's database product, which places it firmly in the Cloud, will be generally available on April 1, 2014.

Talk around SQL Server 2014's feature set has been constant and consistent for the last year, with many such chats provided by Microsoft at their own conferences in 2013. Moving forward, SQL Server 2014 will be the basis for powering Analysis Services, Excel and Power BI (Business Intelligence) for Office 365.

SQL Server 2014's In-Memory OLTP has been improved and is now integrated, ensuring customers no longer have to utilize additional software to use it. From a Hybrid Cloud perspective, SQL Server 2014 integrates with Windows Azure in a way to allow backup and recovery for on-premise SQL Server databases. When SQL Server 2014 releases on April 1, Microsoft also will be providing a Windows Azure virtual machine image to enable the data path between on-premise and the Cloud.

To read through all the new and important features, in depth, read Michael Otey's post today: Important New Features in SQL Server 2014

To be notified exactly when the SQL Server 2014 release is available on April 1, you can choose to be notified over email: Register to be notified as new offerings are released to the public

Though the product will be generally available on April 1, Microsoft is setting April 15 aside (10 AM PDT) for the big release announcement party. Quentin Clark will be joined by CEO Satya Nadella and COO Kevin Turner for an online event.

Microsoft offers the ability to be notified of the April 15 event through an Outlook (.ics) calendar reminder and through a Facebook page:

Calendar Reminder

Facebook page

For full and continuing information about SQL 2014 and the new features, stick close to our sister site SQL Server Pro.