A temporal database stores data that relates to time periods and time instances. It provides temporal data types and stores information relating to the past, present, and future. For example, it stores the history of a stock or the movement of employees within an organization. The difference between a temporal database and a conventional database is that a temporal database maintains data with respect to time and allows time-based reasoning, whereas a conventional database captures only a current snapshot of reality.
For example, a conventional database cannot directly support historical queries about past status and cannot represent inherently retroactive or proactive changes. Without built-in temporal table support from the DBMS, applications are forced to use complex and often manual methods to manage and maintain temporal information.