Grafana 7.2 adds flexibility to date displays and transformations

Grafana Loki

Observability platform Grafana has rolled out version 7.2 of the software, allowing date and time customisation, and providing users with capabilities to group data and reorder transformations.

With the latest release, teams can adjust server-wide settings in the configuration file to display dates to the format most useful to them. As the dates will likely differ between individuals, settings at the user and organisation level are expected to be added soon. In the meantime, admins can enable an experimental feature that lets the platform change the date format in accordance with browser location and set the language for each user.

Transformations have seen a bit of a change as well, starting with the option to reorder operations by dragging transformations up and down the UI (the same can be done for queries now). An additional transformation allows the grouping of data based on fields, generating new fields through calculations with group values. 

With the current release, configuration options in the Field and Override tabs have been declared ready for general consumption. Admins can also add override rules that use a regular expressions matcher “to choose which fields to apply rules to”, and apply value filters to table columns.

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Subscribers of the Grafana Enterprise edition were also lavished with additional reporting enhancements, which means they are now able to configure organisation-wide settings and generate reports that use the panel layout deployed in dashboards. Users also no longer have to find work arounds to come up with reports covering a time range different from the underlying dashboard, as an official option was added to set that up.

The full list of changes can be found in the project’s repository

When upgrading, users should be aware that alert notification channels in Grafana 7.2 store secret data encrypted in the database. Old channels can’t be automatically migrated to the new behaviour, so they have to be opened in the UI and saved manually to ensure encryption. 

Grafana was recently highlighted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s end user technology radar on observability as one of the projects whose adoption was endorsed by a wide number of group members. One of the reasons for that may be the widespread use of Prometheus as a monitoring tool in that community. As a time series database, Prometheus is a bit tricky to use on its own, so pairing it with Grafana for data visualisation and analysis purposes has become a standard of sorts.

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