Holochain Forum

Holo-n8n (and maybe holo-zapier): Automated workflows and data-syncing between hApps and centralized apps 🔥🔥

Hello all,

Team Size:

1 at the moment, @alexoceann (pronouns: they/them/their)

Description:

Currently, I’m planning on starting a local worker co-op. For the sake of being practical and efficient, I’ll need to use a few different centralized services such as Google Sheets and Stripe. In the longer term, I’m interested in adopting the REA framework. My goal is to be able to sync data across these different apps, and automate as many boring tasks as possible.

After a bit of research, I learned about the open-source workflow automation tool n8n. Using a node-based visual editor (as in, nodes on a graph), one can easily create cross-app workflows. The processing of these workflows is typically self-hosted, although n8n will soon start offering a paid hosting service. Would it be possible to port n8n to Holo hosting, though? Here are just a few possibilities that come to mind for me:

  • Sync accounting reports in their existing formats with the REA framework.
  • Send periodic emails to the members of a private DHT via Mailchimp.
  • Make Shopify orders over the DHT.
  • Track work hours reliably with Clockify, then handle payments and invoicing over the DHT.
  • Use Twilio to send SMS notifications to patrons of a Holochain-based lending library, encouraging them to return their items on time.
  • Record data from Holochain-based IoT devices into Excel spreadsheets and make automated tweets.
  • Sync projects across Hylo, Asana, and monday.com.
  • Holochain-based Spotify controller, and playlists managed by DHT members.
  • Store larger, static files in Dropbox.
  • Literally getting a collective weather check amongst members of a DHT.
  • Use Google Translate for Holochain communications in differing languages (if you trust it).

In the same way that Holo bridges the protocols of the centralized and distributed worlds, holo-n8n could bridge a group’s existing datasets and tech stack with the world of hApps. I imagine that this would make a reeeaaalllly useful tool for ramping into the Holoverses for at least a handful of people, circumventing the need to write integrations for each individual service.

I envision this hApp almost as a direct port of n8n’s existing workflow editor, with an added section for paying for processing using HoloFuel. One significant consideration is whether Holo’s crowd-hosted model is compatible with n8n’s Fair-code model. holo-n8n could potentially eat into the paid service n8n is planning to offer. According to the Fair-code site:

Community meets Prosperity

We want people to make money off of their software, but we recognize that the community benefits from a project’s economic success. Within fair-code, creators have the exclusive right of commercializing their work, ensuring long-term profitability. Companies that wish to commercialize the software can contact the author and form a business relationship that benefits both parties!

Another consideration is security. Would an organization’s data be visible to hosts? Would an org need to set up a private proxy for countersigning? Would hosts need to undergo KYC validation and make a confidentiality agreement?

Any thoughts or interest? I haven’t much experience in TypeScript and Vue.js, which composes most of n8n. I also haven’t yet tried out Holochain RSM (although I intend to). I think this could have huge potential: not only would HoloHosts be able to process workflows from hApp-to-centralized app and hApp-to-hApp, but also centralized app-to-centralized app :exploding_head:

Resources:

Similar app or site:

  • Zapier (commercial service, offers 2000+ integrations according to website, compared to n8n’s 90+)

I am at… proof of concept: (Thought of this Wednesday.) Need feedback, others to help implement and test viability.

Skills:

  • Holochain knowledge: Low-level knowledge of Holochain RSM (authentication, propagation, encryption?)(1), mid-to-higher level knowledge(8)
  • Front-End: Vue.js(1)
  • Back-End: TypeScript(1), Docker(1)
  • UI/UX: possibly SCSS(1)
  • Others: legal/licensing advice, coordination between Holo and n8n?(1)

Commitment: 2-3 hours/week, unable to commit terribly long, as I must work on my main project.

What do I need: others experienced in hApp dev (especially RSM), official advice on legal/licensing implications, potential coordination between Holo and n8n.

2 Likes

Hi. Very interesting concepts. You may like to checkout kendra.io https://www.kendra.io/

I really like the idea, but can offer no further resources (ie coding) other than making others aware of this where helpful.