Abstract：Virtual Observatory (VO) is a data-intensively online astronomical research and education environment, taking advantages of advanced information technologies to achieve seamless, global access to astronomical information. To allow users and applications to access distributed and heterogeneous datasets and services in a consistent and uniform way (interoperability), International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) has been defined a set of standards and specifications. However, the VO, especially the IVOA, does not address all of the challenges facing to astronomical research and education in a data-driven and data-intensive science research era. Standing on a broader vision, Astroinformatics will act as a sub-discipline of Astronomy to enable data-intensive astronomical science. In the paper, backgrounds and current status of VO research and development are introduced, challenges facing to Astronomy and requirements for Astroinformatics are discussed, main research contents of Astroinformatics are described.