The invention of the needle optimization technique and further modifications of this technique provided optical coating engineers with the most effective tools for designing of optical coatings of any type. An outstanding computational efficiency of modern design techniques has resulted in a new paradigm of designing of optical coatings.4 This new paradigm proposes to look for a practically optimal design instead of a formally optimal design characterized by the lowest possible merit function value. The concept of a practically optimal design is tightly connected with a monitoring approach used for optical coating production. At the modern state of art in production of innovative optical coatings, especially in production of high quality optical coatings for challenging applications, it is necessary to perform a combined choice of design and monitoring approach that should be applied for optical coating manufacturing. Modern design techniques can provide a great number of excellent theoretical designs and it is too expensive and time consuming to perform test manufacturing runs in order to choose the most practical design with the best expectation for a high manufacturing yield. An excellent alternative to real test manufacturing runs is provided by a series of experiments with computational manufacturing of optical coatings. Such experiments allow one to choose the best practical design and an appropriate monitoring approach at the lowest possible cost and in the most reasonable time frame. In this paper we outline the modern state of art in design, monitoring, and computational manufacturing of optical coatings.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.