Plotly ecosystem explanation


I have been reading both the docs here and SO posts and I still do not fully understand what are the goals and use cases of each product in Plotly ecosystem.
Right now there are Plotly, Dash, Plotly Express (every one of them in Python and JS ???) then numerous enterprise solutions and then a cloud charting studio.
Could anybody give a brief explanation with examples when every product is best used?


The Company behind all of these products.

“Plotly” is also the common name for the graphing libraries available in:

All of these libraries are rendered using the same underlying javascript library, “plotly.js”.

"Plotly Express"

Refers to the Python submodule which provides a higher level, pandas dataframe-friendly, pythonic, and grammar of graphics inspired interface to plotly charts.

See & Creating and Updating Figures | Python | Plotly


AKA “Dash Open Source” or “Dash OSS” An open source web application framework library for data science apps. Available in multiple languages (Python, R, Julia). See documentation at

Dash Apps often include include graphs and charts. These graphs and charts are powered by the “plotly” libraries via the dcc.Graph component.

MIT licensed & free. Installed with pip install dash

"Dash Enterprise"

A commercially licensed platform for developing & sharing data science apps. See

Commercially licensed and installed on private corporate VPCs.


Chris, thank you for a very detailed answer!

So am I right in thinking that if I have a web site running on Django/Node/etc and I want to inject some interactive charts here and there I should use Plotly or Plotly Express?
And then I should use Dash if I want to build a web app with interactive charts from the ground app where all HTML/CSS/JS + the server side is handled with Dash’s tools?

Yes, that’s right.

You can also embed a Dash app in a 3rd party website too. Either with iframes (which won’t handle authentication from the host app to the dash app) or the Embedding Middleware features of Dash Enterprise.

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