n8n Review

n8n gets four stars because of the complexity of setting up and managing the system. If technical documentation doesn't scare you, make sure to subscribe for insider guides and how-to's for the technical products found here.

n8n Review
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Rating Summary

n8n is a fair-code (not-quite-open-source), node-based workflow automation tool that allows users to automate repetitive tasks and streamline their workflows. With n8n, users can connect different applications and services together, such as databases, CRMs, email services, and more, to create custom workflows that automate tasks across multiple platforms.

n8n provides a graphical user interface that allows users to easily create and configure workflows using drag-and-drop nodes. These nodes represent different actions or triggers, such as sending an email or creating a record in a database, and users can connect them together to create a sequence of automated tasks.

n8n also provides a range of features to help users manage their workflows, including error handling, workflow versioning, and scheduling. With n8n, users can create complex workflows that automate a wide range of tasks and processes, helping to save time and increase efficiency.

Remember, there is one star per feature. One star each for ease of use, staying power of the solution, privacy and security practices, reasonable pricing, and usefulness.

n8n gets four stars because of the complexity of setting up and managing the system. There are simpler ways to setup the system than a full-blown deployment, but to get the necessary horsepower to run a firm, you'll need to go into the weeds a bit. If technical documentation doesn't scare you, make sure to subscribe for insider access to guides and how-to's on the more technical products found here.

Is the software easy to set up?

Yes, there is a docker-compose option for setting up an n8n self-hosted instance in a production environment.

Using Docker Compose simplifies the process of deploying and managing multiple containers required for n8n. It allows you to define and run multi-container Docker applications using a YAML file, which makes it easier to manage and scale the application.

There are many resources available online that provide detailed instructions on setting up n8n with Docker Compose, including the official n8n documentation and our own guide here on The Art ofLaw and Technology. With some technical knowledge and familiarity with Docker and Docker Compose, you can set up a reliable and scalable n8n self-hosted instance in a production environment.

For the less technically inclined, there is a cloud version of n8n that is easy to setup and use. The cloud version of n8n provides the same functionality as the self-hosted version, with the added convenience of handling installation and setup stuff for you.

The cloud version of n8n is designed to be user-friendly, even for people with limited technical knowledge. The interface is intuitive, making it easy to create and manage workflows. Additionally, the cloud version provides access to the same integrations and features as the self-hosted version.

Overall, the cloud version of n8n is a convenient and easy-to-use option for users who prefer a plug and play application over a self-hosted structure. With the simple installation process and user-friendly interface, even users with limited technical knowledge can get started with n8n quickly and easily.

How technical is the set up?

While it is possible for someone with no technical knowledge to install n8n, it may require some basic technical understanding and familiarity with server deployment methods.

n8n.io offers various deployment options, including local installations, cloud providers, and Docker containers. If you have experience with server deployment or cloud services, the installation process may be straightforward for you.

However, if you are new to server deployment or cloud services, you may find it challenging to set up n8n.io on your own. In this case, you may want to consider seeking assistance from someone with technical expertise, such as a developer or IT professional.

Additionally, once n8n.io is installed, configuring workflows and connecting external services may also require some technical knowledge. While the interface is user-friendly, some familiarity with APIs and webhooks may be necessary to fully utilize the tool's capabilities.

Overall, n8n.io is designed to be accessible and user-friendly, even for people with limited technical expertise. However, if you are unfamiliar with server deployment and API integration, it may take some time and effort to get started.

Can a non-technical person manage the service effectively?

The ease of maintaining an n8n instance largely depends on the deployment method and the complexity of the workflows and integrations used. However, in general, once n8n is set up, it should be relatively straightforward to maintain.

To maintain an n8n instance, you need to regularly update the software, check the logs for errors or issues, and make any necessary configuration changes. These tasks are similar to those required to maintain any software or web application.

n8n provides detailed documentation on how to update the software, and the process is usually as simple as pulling the latest Docker image (a single line of code) or updating the server software.

Monitoring the logs is also an essential part of maintaining an n8n instance. Logs can help identify errors or issues with workflows and integrations, and troubleshooting them can help keep your instance running smoothly. The logs do not require technical knowledge to identify errors, although it will help with correcting errors in your workflows.

In terms of configuration changes, you may need to update your environment variables or configure new integrations as your requirements change. Configuration changes are not a common need, and are rare enough that hiring someone to help you out is not a big deal.

Overall, maintaining an n8n instance requires some technical knowledge and regular attention to updates, logs, and configurations. However, with the help of n8n's documentation and community support, it is achievable even for users with limited technical expertise.

No star
No Star for Easy Set-Up

Will the software still be available two years down the road?

There are some factors that suggest that n8n is likely to continue to be a viable and growing business:

n8n was initially released in 2019, which means that it has been in operation for several years and has gained a significant following and user base in that time.

n8n is primarily a workflow automation tool, which is a growing and in-demand market as businesses continue to seek ways to automate their processes and improve efficiency.

The fact that n8n offers value-add services centered around the software suggests that the company is looking for ways to monetize its product and generate revenue, which is a positive sign for its long-term viability.

However, it's important to note that there are many factors that can impact a software company's long-term success, including competition, changing market trends, and economic factors. Therefore, it's impossible to predict with certainty whether n8n will still be in business two years from now, but the information available suggests that it is well-positioned to continue to grow and thrive in the workflow automation space for the near-term.

How long has the software developer been in business?

n8n was initially released in 2019 as an open-source project by Jan Oberhauser and Ricardo MagalhĂŁes. Since then, the n8n team has continued to develop and improve the software, and it has gained significant popularity in the no-code and automation communities. Today, n8n is a thriving fair-code project with a growing community of users and contributors.

How central is the service to the overall business?

n8n is primarily a workflow automation tool developer and does not offer any other services, with the exception of value-add services centered around the software.

One star
One Star for Staying Power

Is the software protective of your firm's confidential data?

n8n takes a conservative stance on data collection, and is refreshingly clear about what data is collected and how to avoid what little collection does happen. Your data is more protected in a self-hosted environment, but n8n is sufficiently respectful of your data that hosting with n8n's servers should pose minimal risks.

What data can they access?

n8n collects some data from its users to help improve the platform and diagnose problems. This data includes information like error codes, the types of nodes used in workflows, and diagnostic information like the n8n version and operating system. n8n takes care to keep this data anonymous and avoid collecting sensitive data like personally identifiable information, credential information, or execution data. Users can opt out of sharing some of this data if they prefer.

Is the form of access to data invasive?

n8n's data collection policies appear to be fairly standard for software companies that provide cloud-based services or software products. The company collects selected usage and performance data to help diagnose problems and improve the platform. They take care to keep this data anonymous and to avoid collecting sensitive data. It's worth noting that many companies also collect similar types of data to improve their products and services.

The data collection that n8n conducts does not collect any personally identifiable information or sensitive data. The data collected is limited to usage and performance data, which is used to improve the platform and diagnose problems. Additionally, n8n takes care to keep the data anonymous and ensure that it cannot be used to identify specific individuals or entities. Therefore, the data collection by n8n can be considered non-invasive. However, it's always a good idea to review a company's privacy policy and data collection practices to ensure that they align with your preferences and requirements.

What data do they share?

n8n uses sub-processors to help provide its service to customers. These sub-processors are authorized to process customer data on behalf of n8n. The company carefully audits each sub-processor to ensure that they have strong security controls and comply with applicable regulations for the protection of personal data. This helps ensure that customer data is handled with care and kept secure while using n8n's service.

This level of sharing is a standard minimum — every company has subprocessors. At the time of writing, n8n does not share data for any other purpose than to provide the services. The exception is data connections that the user sets up to connect one data source to another via API or other hooks, which is the purpose of the software. It's important to note the distinction between this user-purpose driven sharing and other forms of data sharing.

One star
One Star for Confidentiality

n8n software is useful for legal operations because it helps automate various tasks, workflows, and processes that are involved in day-to-day legal operations. This includes automating the creation of legal documents, managing contracts and agreements, tracking case progress, and much more.

By automating these tasks, n8n can help you save time and increase efficiency, which can lead to cost savings and improved productivity. It can also help reduce errors and improve the accuracy of legal documents and records, which is essential for legal operations.

Overall, n8n's ability to automate and streamline legal operations can help legal professionals become more productive, efficient, and accurate, ultimately helping them better serve their clients and achieve their business goals.

How easily does the software fit into your workday?

We use n8n every week in our practice, and the automation flows are running dozens to hundreds of times per day. Each automation execution represents several minutes of time saved, and the growth in time savings is directly related to the number of automations implemented.

One star
One star for usefulness

Is the software reasonably priced?

n8n is cheaper than Zapier and provides a free, self-hosted option. Their limits are more generous than Zapier's (along with other alternatives), and don't limit the number of users under most plans.

How might the software's pricing compare to a non-lawyer-specific competitor?

n8n is already cheaper than a non-legal competitor, so rest assured that n8n is likely cheaper than "legal-specific" solutions.

One star
One Star for Pricing

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