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Infinity plugin for Grafana: Grafana Labs will now maintain the versatile data source plugin

Infinity plugin for Grafana: Grafana Labs will now maintain the versatile data source plugin

5 Feb, 2024 3 min

Grafana was initially renowned for its ability to help users visualize time series data for platforms like Graphite and Elasticsearch. However, as the landscape evolved, demand surged for Grafana to embrace a wider array of data formats, particularly from third-party APIs. 

The challenge lay in handling vastly diverse data structures — from simple CSV arrays to intricately nested data retrieved via GraphQL. While solutions like the Simple JSON data source plugin emerged, they relied on middleware for data transformation, posing barriers to entry for users seeking a direct connection from Grafana to their endpoints. Attempts with plugins like the JSON API data source also fell short due to authentication complexities and a lack of support for Grafana features such as alerting.

This all changed in 2020 with the introduction of the Infinity data source plugin. Initially conceived as my personal side project, the Infinity plugin grew out of a quest to visualize data scraped from Wikipedia:

A screenshot of a tweet about the Infinity plugin.

Now, the Infinity data source plugin is a robust solution that allows you to seamlessly query and visualize data from JSON, CSV, XML, and GraphQL endpoints. And today, I’m thrilled to announce that Grafana Labs will officially take ownership over this popular and versatile plugin.  

The Infinity data source plugin and the Grafana community

The Infinity data source plugin swiftly gained traction within the Grafana community, becoming a go-to solution for diverse data visualization needs. Community members have used this plugin for a wide variety of use cases, whether it’s visualizing data related to their cloud computing costs or their Pokémon games. 

Community volunteers, drawn to its functionality, emerged as advisors. Their overwhelming support ushered in a flood of feature requests, sparking a turning point for the plugin. Today, the plugin boasts a long and powerful list of features — including Advanced OAuth, post processing of data using the JSONata language, and alerting — and has millions of downloads.

A screenshot of a Grafana dashboard using the Infinity data source plugin.

Infinity and Grafana Labs: a new chapter

Recognizing that the Infinity plugin outgrew its origins as a solitary endeavor, I felt it was best to transfer ownership and support to Grafana Labs. And what’s on the horizon is so exciting — the Grafana Labs team has pledged to enhance the plugin, handle bug fixes, and add support for new Grafana features, such as Private data source connect. This evolution marks a new chapter, and ensures Infinity’s continued growth and prominence as a Grafana data source plugin.

Under this new ownership, the Infinity plugin documentation will be relocated to Grafana’s official documentation hub. This change also means Infinity is now an officially recommended plugin to visualize data from JSON, CSV, XML, and GraphQL endpoints in Grafana.

Despite this transition, Infinity remains an open source project. I’d like to thank all the community members who have helped shape and evolve this plugin over the years, and I’m so excited to see what’s to come. 

To learn more about the Infinity data source plugin, you can check out the plugin’s documentation and GitHub repo.