What does the "Alpha" realease state mean (i.e. how ready is Temporal for productione really)

I am researching various workflow engines for integrating it into our application and Cadence/Temporal has caught my eye as something that I really want to like and pursue, but the “Alpha” release status kind of scares me a little.

From what I understand, the core of the Temporal is based on the very stable Cadence workflow engine that is being actively used in production by many companies already. To the best of my understanding, the main change that Temporal has over Cadence Workflows is that in Temporal, workflows and activities use gRPC + Protobuf to communicate with the workflow server while Cadence used TChannel + Thrift, plus there are some other improvements in the Go and Java APIs for workflow and activity definitions.

On the workflow state persistence side, Cadense uses Cassandra whle Temporal has added support for MySQL (and soon PostgreSQL as well). With possibility to add more SQL engines.

So, in order to better understand what kind of a gun I am pointing at my proverbial foot, I would like to understand little bit more about what is current state and near term plans for Temporal.

  1. Given that most of the base of the Temporal has carried over from Cadence, would you say that there are no obvious technical issues when deploying Temporal to production and running some workflows on it in near term future (Q4 of 2020)?

  2. What is still missing from Temporal implementation before Temporal team is ready to remove Alpha label from Temporal releases (promoting it to Beta?). And when do you expect to reach that point?

    2.1. Similar question about the Beta.
    2.2. I guess what I want is some sort of rough roadmap to version 1.0

  3. How and in what way can community get involved? If I choose to adopt Temporal while it’s still in Alpha is it possible to open pull requests to fix issues that we find? What is the process for contributors?

  4. What kind of support can Temporal team provide, if we find ourselves facing issues that we do not know how handle?

Hey Roland, these are great questions. Before I directly answer any of them, I want to highly encourage you to read the transparency updates on our blog:

  1. Temporal is a Cadence fork. Over the last 8 months we have made a large number of breaking changes to the Cadence including things you mentioned such as GRPC. There is a comprehensive list of these changes on our blog: https://docs.temporal.io/blog/temporal-v0.28.0-changelog. There is no production release available for Temporal today. We are in the stabilization period for the first production release and things are going very well. We’ve gone timeline-less and while we hope to have things ready by Q4 2020, I can’t make any promises.
  2. At this point, nothing is missing and we are now in stabilization period. Here is a post where I describe the different parts of the V1 release.. There will be no Beta and we will move straight from alpha into production ready version. Version 1.0 will be available once stabilized. We have no public roadmap as they usually cause more problems than they solve.
  3. I love the question and there are many ways to get involved:
    • You’re always free to open pull requests, issues at any time. We appreciate this a lot.
    • You can propose a new feature
    • Contribute new language SDK (it’s a serious undertaking)
    • Help others as you learn
    • Write about your experience with Temporal and the community
    • I would love to talk more if this is something you’re seriously interested in
  4. We provide completely free support and would to help you and your team. We can jump on a zoom call, provide support through the forums or even do internal presentations for your company.

It’s also worth mentioning that we are working on a cloud offering so if that’s interesting to you, we should definitely chat about it :slight_smile:

Please let me know if I didn’t answer any of your questions. We are here to help.

Thanks for a very thorough response. I will have to read through the transparency updates posts. It’ll take some time.

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