Visual exploration and discovery applications are invaluable tools to provide prompt and intuitive insights into the intrinsic data characteristics of modern astronomy and astrophysics datasets. Due to the massively large and highly complex datasets, various technical challenges are involved to reach, e.g. interactivity, integration, navigation and collaboration. This paper describes a number of approaches to address these challenges, and focuses on the current status of VisIVO (Visualization Interface for the Virtual Observatory) concentrating on the provided tools ranging from a desktop application to a science gateway and a mobile application. We emphasize the latest developments made in the context of past and current international European funded projects and highlight planned future developments towards further integration within the framework of the Virtual Observatory.