As a DevOps engineer, one of the challenges I face is finding an efficient way to automate my workflows. I have tried various tools in the past, some of which were paid, but none of them met my expectations. However, I recently stumbled upon n8n, an open-source workflow automation tool that has been gaining popularity in recent years.
In this article, I will share my review of n8n, how to set it up, and a tutorial on how to create your first workflow.
What is n8n?
n8n is an open-source workflow automation tool that enables users to automate their processes without writing any code. n8n uses a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create workflows and integrate various services.
n8n is designed to be extensible, with over 200 nodes (integrations) available out-of-the-box. This means that users can connect to various applications and services like Zapier, Slack, Trello, Google Drive, and many more.
Review of n8n
After using n8n for a while, I can say that it is a powerful tool that is worth considering for automating your workflows. The following are some of the things I like about n8n:
- Open-source and free
- n8n is an open-source tool, which means that anyone can use it for free. It is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license, which allows users to use, distribute, and modify the software as they see fit.
- User-friendly interface
- n8n has a well-designed user interface that makes it easy to use. The drag-and-drop interface is intuitive and enables users to create workflows quickly.
- Integration with third-party tools
- n8n can be integrated with various third-party tools, making it possible to automate your workflows across multiple platforms.
- n8n is scalable, and users can deploy it on their own servers or use a cloud-based solution like AWS or Google Cloud.
Setting up n8n
Setting up n8n is straightforward, and it can be done in a few steps.
- Install Docker
- n8n is distributed as a Docker container, so the first step is to install Docker on your machine. Docker is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- Pull the n8n Docker image
- Once Docker is installed, the next step is to pull the n8n Docker image. This can be done by running the following command in your terminal:
docker pull n8nio/n8n
- Run the n8n container
- After pulling the Docker image, you can run the n8n container by running the following command:
docker run -it --rm \ --name n8n \ -p 5678:5678 \ -v ~/.n8n:/root/.n8n \ n8nio/n8n
- This command will start the n8n container and bind it to port 5678.
- Access n8n
- After running the container, you can access n8n by opening a web browser and navigating to http://localhost:5678. This will bring up the n8n user interface, where you can start creating your workflows.
Creating your first workflow
Creating your first workflow in n
8n is straightforward, and it can be done in a few steps.
- Create a new workflow
- To create a new workflow, click on the “New Workflow” button on the n8n dashboard. This will bring up the workflow editor.
- Add nodes
- To add nodes to your workflow, click on the “+” button on the right-hand side of the screen. This will bring up a list of available nodes. Select the node you want to add and drag it to the workflow editor.
- Connect nodes
- To connect nodes, click on the output of the first node and drag it to the input of the second node. This will create a connection between the two nodes.
- Configure nodes
- To configure nodes, double-click on the node you want to configure. This will bring up the node editor, where you can set the node’s parameters.
- Save the workflow
- After configuring your nodes, click on the “Save Workflow” button to save your workflow.
n8n is a powerful open-source workflow automation tool that is worth considering for automating your workflows. It has a well-designed user interface, is extensible, and can be integrated with various third-party tools. Setting up n8n is straightforward, and creating workflows is easy using the drag-and-drop interface. Overall, I would highly recommend n8n for anyone looking for an efficient way to automate their workflows.