Basic questions about automation and tools

I am sure there are many who have this dilemma, hence my question and I look forward to many comments and discussions.

  • How does n8n differ from the paid lambda from aws or other large cloud computing tools and basically what are the options ?

  • Is it worth investing in such solutions on open source or is it better to leave it?

  • What is the application of n8n ? If the traffic and data range increases, will the small 5usd Digital Ocean server still be good for this?

  • What are other free or open source solutions that should be considered for automation instead of n8n?

  • Can regular shuffles and tasks on many data be based only on json files stored in bucket?

  • Is a database necessary ?

  • Can it not be a google sheet or airtable?

and so basically 100 other questions …

Hi @etato,

I reply below:

  1. With n8n you don’t pay for executions like Lambda. You only pay for hosting this solution with unlimited workflows executions.

  2. It depends. Do you want to control everything or not? Opensource usually needs more support by yourself.

  3. Process automation visually. I didn’t tested it with low-cost servers. But it depends on what are you trying to do. Moving lots of data? With lots I mean 1M rows per day. Usually big data movements need another strategy.

  4. You have node-red. This is opensource. But solutions are endless. Lots of them have a free use license.

  5. Sure. You can use JSON files located in an S3 bucket. Or read XML and CSV files in Dropbox to process found data.

  6. Not necessary. You can run n8n with sqlite. A file system database.

  7. Google sheet and Airtable are supported. So you can use them as a datasource if you want.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for your help

Okay, but the question is whether this is a good solution? For a beginner it is better to create a simple project with a lot of data on the basis of such files or it completely replaces the need for a database?

The sheet table also seems to be readable. Why should I use a database that I do not understand when it can be a sheet. However, sheets are not popular and everyone does projects based on popular databases. Why?

Hi @etato,

It depends on what are you currently using.

Do you have an existing MySQL(or similar database)? Or you usually work with excel/csv/json files?
Databases make sense when you have big files. It’s not handy to work with files when you have a lot of rows.

But this depends on your current working method. And I assume you work with files (CSV or XLS).
That kind of files can be processed using N8N.

Other people work with GoogleSheets, but this only suits with small amounts of data in your sheet.

So, that’s why I say that it depends. The main thing is to know which is the best method that better suits your current needs.

As far as I know each sheet can have 1000 rows but in each sheet I can have unlimited number of documents. What is the problem that I can not have multiple data there?

I recommend you using the method that best suits your needs.
This method is ok and you can achieve reading files this way from n8n too.

When I say lots of rows in a file, I mean 1000000 rows, not 1000. I assume this is not your situation.

Let me know if I can help some way.