Quick guide to Grafana URL parameters

Hello, I am new to Grafana, just done my first dashboards. My case is to show a Production Performance board in our factories.
I basically need to understand how to define parameters in the URL, and not least how to connect them to variables in my SQL scripts. I use onprem Grafana and a local MS SQL.
I have seen topics here, but it unfortunately didnt give me the overview.
Any help appreciated

The linking overview docs page is here: Linking overview | Grafana Labs

It sounds like you are looking for dashboard links: Dashboard links | Grafana Labs

The format for specifying template variables in a url is:


A real life example with three variables named datacenter, host and summarize: https://play.grafana.org/d/000000002/influxdb-templated?orgId=1&var-datacenter=Africa&var-host=All&var-summarize=1m

Visiting this link will set the three variables that you can see at the top of the page:


Those variables then have to be used in a query to actually have any effect. Here is an example of an sql query using variables (host and summarize) by putting a dollar sign in front of the variable name:

  $__timeGroup(createdAt,'$summarize') as time,
  avg(value) as value,
  hostname as metric
  $__timeFilter(createdAt) AND
  measurement = 'logins.count' AND
  hostname IN($host)
GROUP BY $__timeGroup(createdAt,'$summarize'), hostname

When a variable value is changed either by changing the URL or by choosing a value in a dropdown then a query to MSSQL is triggered and the visualization in Grafana is updated with the new data.

1 Like

Thank you Daniel,
I run Grafana local towards MS SQL, using this URL e.g.:
My variable “unit” should be transferred to $unit
My SQL look like:
state_NUM as ‘3011’
$__timeFilter(time) AND UNIT_ID IN ($unit) – I have also tried UNIT_IS = $unit
time ASC

It simply does not work, nothing happens, and the native MS SQL is not generated ?
I am not anywhere in the dashboard “defining” the variable “unit”, right ?
I have also tried to cast the incoming “unit” variable to INT, as I assume it may come in as string ?
Things works quite different, pointing at Influx as opposed to pointing at MS SQL, by the way, part of my problem, I cant find MS SQL examples …
Hope you have another idea …

You have to create a variable in the dashboard named “unit” otherwise it won’t get passed from the url to the query. There are different types of variables - you are probably looking for one of these 3:

  • query variables where you specify a query to provide the values in a dropdown
  • custom variables where you hardcode the values
  • textbox - just a textbox where the user can type in any free text

Templating docs: Microsoft SQL Server | Grafana Labs

There are some examples in docs here: Microsoft SQL Server | Grafana Labs

These are the test dashboards we using for testing MSSQL with Grafana: grafana/devenv/dev-dashboards/datasource-mssql at main · grafana/grafana · GitHub