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n8n: An Overview of the Workflow Automation Tool

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n8n: An Overview of the Workflow Automation Tool

In business, redundant, day-to-day tasks are known as superfluous tasks. These tasks, which do not require any particular skills, can be detrimental to the productivity of your teams. Many new tools are emerging to automate these tasks and processes and keep employees motivated. Today we are going to present N8N, a free, open source workflow automation platform.

What is N8N?

N8N is an open source workflow automation platform. Created in 2019 by Jan Oberhauser in Berlin, it enables the modelling of business processes and the integration and interaction of applications.

Capable of interacting with more than 350 applications, N8N brings a host of benefits to professionals. By eliminating repetitive tasks, the platform not only saves time and money, but also reduces the risk of human error.

How does N8N work?

Simple execution, complex scenarios

Using nodes, N8N can create workflows that combine several sites, cloud services, databases, tools or applications. Each node can perform an action such as reading a file, writing an email, sending a notification, etc., which can be executed alone or simultaneously with the other nodes.

For example, you can collect data from a data warehouse, put it in the form of a report on Power Bi, send it by email and send a Slack notification to warn the recipient.

N8N offers more than 600 pre-defined workflows on its platform, providing a wide range of automation options for teams looking to simplify their working time.

Community sharing

The platform also enables entire processes to be saved in JSON format. This feature makes it easy to copy processes and reuse them later as templates. And thanks to its open source functionality, community templates can also be copied, making it easier for new users to get started.

Virtually unlimited integration

Another feature of N8N is its ability to create nodes even with applications that are not included in its catalogue. In fact, despite the 350+ applications available, there are thousands of other tools that can be used for a variety of reasons. If a company needs to use one of these tools, N8N offers the ‘HTTP Call’ solution. Provided the tool has an API, N8N can use the HTTP Call node to connect to it and use it.

N8N is not just a simple automation tool. It offers a host of features, such as rapid application development, an easy-to-understand structure that nevertheless requires knowledge of JavaScript, and can save entire processes to avoid repetition. All this makes N8N a powerful and essential automation tool for businesses.

What are the alternatives to N8N?

Other workflow automation applications include Zapier and IFTTT. Compared with N8N, Zapier has the same functions, but offers several thousand applications with which to interact. Zapier also has a nicer, more affordable user interface than N8N.

How much does N8N cost?

Unlike its competitors, N8N offers a completely free and comprehensive version. Its self-hosted open source version is free and accessible to everyone, enabling it to be continually enhanced by its community. However, there is a paid subscription that hosts the platform on the N8N cloud, starting at €20 a month and rising to €50 for more options.

 

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N8N is a comprehensive automation tool which, thanks to its community, gives you access to an infinite number of pre-designed models. N8N makes it easy to create workflows, boosting team productivity.

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