Important: This documentation is about an older version. It's relevant only to the release noted, many of the features and functions have been updated or replaced. Please view the current version.
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.