The progress in the design of optical coatings is essentially connected with the invention of the needle optimization technique and with the accumulated experience of its practical implementation. These factors enable raising a question about the developing of an entirely automated optical coating design technique. The presented paper discusses difficulties of the formalization of the design problem and the ways to overcome the intrinsic uncertainty of its formulation. It formulates the basic principles of implementation of the entirely automated design technique and considers the main pro et contra of the push-button design technology.© (1999) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.