A large number of use cases span beyond a single request-reply, require tracking of a complex state, respond to asynchronous events, and communicate to external unreliable dependencies. The usual approach to building such applications is a hodgepodge of stateless services, databases, cron jobs, and queuing systems. This negatively impacts the developer productivity as most of the code is dedicated to plumbing, obscuring the actual business logic behind a myriad of low-level details. Such systems frequently have availability problems as it is hard to keep all the components healthy.
The Temporal solution is a fault-oblivious stateful programming model that obscures most of the complexities of building scalable distributed applications. In essence, Temporal provides a durable virtual memory that is not linked to a specific process, and preserves the full application state, including function stacks, with local variables across all sorts of host and software failures. This allows you to write code using the full power of a programming language while Temporal takes care of durability, availability, and scalability of the application.
Temporal consists of a programming framework (or client library) and a managed service (or backend). The framework enables developers to author and coordinate tasks in familiar languages (Go and Java are supported today with some projects in Python and C# via a proxy in development).
The backend service is stateless and relies on a persistent store. Currently, Cassandra and MySQL stores are supported. An adapter to any other database that provides multi-row single shard transactions can be added. There are different service deployment models. At Uber, our team operates multitenant clusters that are shared by hundreds of applications.
Watch Maxim's talk from the Uber Open Summit for an introduction to the Temporal programming model and value proposition.