Besides the wide range of visualizations and data sources that are available immediately after you install Grafana, you can extend your Grafana experience with plugins.
Use panel plugins when you want to:
- Visualize data returned by data source queries.
- Navigate between dashboards.
- Control external systems, such as smart home devices.
Data source plugins
Data source plugins add support for new databases, such as Google BigQuery.
Data source plugins communicate with external sources of data and return the data in a format that Grafana understands. By adding a data source plugin, you can immediately use the data in any of your existing dashboards.
Use data source plugins when you want to import data from external systems.
Applications, or app plugins, bundle data sources and panels to provide a cohesive experience, such as the Zabbix app.
Apps can also add custom pages for things like control panels.
Use app plugins when you want to create an custom out-of-the-box monitoring experience.
Related Grafana resources
Unify your data with Grafana plugins: Splunk, MongoDB, Datadog, and more
Show how Grafana can be used to take data from multiple different sources and unify it, without disrupting the investments that are working today.
Demo: Getting started with Grafana Enterprise and observability
Join the Grafana Labs team for a 30-minute demo of how to get started with the Grafana Stack, so you can go from zero to observability in just a few minutes.