I think n8n is a great project. It’s been already a while since I started playing with it for the first time - unfortunately I still find it quite frustrating. I never feel productive using it.
Now I hope I can give this post a positive spin and it does not come across as bitching.
It’s great that the number of nodes/integrations is increasing at such pace , but IMO some of the older nodes also need some love.
- Google Sheets
Appending works fine. Updating works fine - if a key exists. But do I really need to try and model an
upsert manually as workflow? IMO it would be great if this could be handled by the node automatically when a certain option/mode is set. Search for the key, update if it exists, otherwise append.
- Speadsheet File
Trying the same with a local spreadsheet file I read the docs on the Binary Property and…
Binary Property field: Name of the binary property in which to save the binary data of the spreadsheet file.
…if this was a movie you now would hear crickets
Binary data of a spreadsheet file? What? Why? How?
This note in the docs clears things up:
You will need to use an additional node such as the Read Binary File node […] to pass the image file as a data property to the Spreadsheet File node.
But that makes the name of the node very awkward.
Why not name it as some kind of conversion node it really is?
And wouldn’t it be nice to have a more similar interface to the e.g. Google Sheets?
No support for sqlite? Bummer. Because of the native part?
Searching the nodes for “sql” does not return “Postgres”.
(Similar thing with Email and Amazon SES)
Maybe also index descriptions or tags?
MongoDB also natively supports
upsert - but the node does not expose that feature. I guess it would also be nice to also allow freeform queries for Insert and Update.
- Node State
This is my biggest pain point. We talked about this before. Some node operations are just in dire need for this. The “tracking changes” workflow I posted a while back was just horribly complex for the simple task it should be. And doing this natively could also pave the way to workflows like:
<do A> => <wait for 1 hour> => <do B>
That would be so awesome. And as a cheery on top it would be sweet to be able set the states inside this state machine.
<A> => <wait for 24 hour> => <B> <webhook> => <goto B>
Conceptually quite easy - no idea about the implementation side with the current architecture.
TBH I am really afraid to use n8n for anything serious because I am unsure how a clustered setup would look like. This somewhat ties into 5), too. Having the config and state separated out, running multiple instances should be no problem. But are there concrete plans for that? I read that you are working on a hosted version. I assume that would happen for that anyway.
Let me know if I should turn some of those points into e.g. github issues or feature requests here.
Other than that I am happy the project is making so much progress.