Creating custom integration in N8N

Creating custom integration in N8N

Let's see how you can create custom integration in N8N. During this tutorial, we will learn about the benefits and use of creating custom integration. Before we start, ensure you have deployed N8N, we will be self-hosting it on Elestio.

What is N8N?

N8N is an open-source workflow automation tool that allows you to automate tasks and workflows by connecting various applications, services, and APIs together. It provides a visual interface where users can create workflows using a node-based system, similar to flowcharts, without needing to write any code. You can integrate n8n with a wide range of applications and services, including popular ones like Google Drive, Slack, GitHub, and more. This flexibility enables users to automate various tasks, such as data synchronization, notifications, data processing, and more.

What are Integrations

Integrations are connections between n8n and various external applications, services, and APIs that enable automation workflows. These integrations are facilitated through nodes, which are the building blocks of workflows in n8n. Each node represents a specific action or operation that can be performed with an external service, such as sending an email, creating a new record in a database, or fetching data from an API.

Pros of Custom Integration

Custom integrations in n8n offer significant advantages by allowing businesses to connect to any service or API, providing solutions that meet unique requirements. They enhance flexibility, efficiency, and productivity by automating bespoke workflows and ensuring seamless data flow between applications. Custom integrations also offer scalability, enabling adjustments as the business grows, and provide increased control and security over data handling. By potentially reducing costs, custom integrations help businesses gain a competitive edge and contribute to the growth of the n8n ecosystem.

Cons of Custom Integration

Custom integrations in n8n, while useful, can have drawbacks such as increased complexity and development time, requiring technical expertise in programming and API management. They may lead to higher maintenance efforts, as custom code needs regular updates to stay compatible with evolving APIs and system changes. Additionally, the initial setup and debugging can be resource-intensive, potentially diverting focus from core business activities. There's also a risk of lower reliability if not thoroughly tested, and without community support, troubleshooting issues can be more challenging compared to using well-established, pre-built integrations.

How to start?

To create custom integrations, N8N provides an example template. Head over to the following link and follow the instructions to get started with creating custom integrations for N8N. This repository contains example nodes to help you build custom integrations for n8n, including a node linter and dependencies. To share your custom node with the community, you need to create it as an npm package and submit it to the npm registry. Prerequisites include git, Node.js, and npm (minimum version Node 16). Install n8n globally with npm install n8n -g and follow n8n's development environment setup guide. To use the starter, generate a new repository from the template, clone it, install dependencies, and modify or replace example nodes and credentials. Update package.json, lint your code, test locally, replace the README, update the LICENSE, and publish to npm.

GitHub - n8n-io/n8n-nodes-starter: Example starter module for custom n8n nodes.
Example starter module for custom n8n nodes. Contribute to n8n-io/n8n-nodes-starter development by creating an account on GitHub.


Custom integrations in n8n unlock a world of possibilities for automation and efficiency. While they come with certain challenges such as increased complexity, technical requirements, and maintenance efforts the ability to create tailored, scalable, and highly specific workflows can provide significant benefits. By understanding these cons and following best practices for development and maintenance, you can effectively leverage custom integrations to enhance your n8n workflows and drive business success.

Thanks for reading ❤️

Thank you so much for reading and do check out the Elestio resources and Official N8N documentation to learn more about N8N. You can click the button below to create your service on Elestio and start building and installing custom integrations. See you in the next one👋