The first step to start any workflow is of course to read the data. KNIME Analytics Platform offers many nodes to access different data sources: formatted text files, binary files, SOAP and REST web services, databases, big data platforms, files from other proprietary software tools, and much more.
Also remember that, in case you are dealing with a file for which a KNIME dedicated node is not yet available, you can always resource to the R foreign library through the R Source node.
Some of the most commonly used nodes will be described in this chapter. However, for a more exhaustive list and description of all KNIME nodes for data access, you can refer to the series of blog posts “Will they blend?”.