It is well established by manufacturers and users that optical coatings are generally prepared by the well known physical vapor deposition (PVD) technology. In the authors' opinion sol-gel technology is an effective and competitive alternative. The aim of this paper is to emphasize the sol-gel thin film work carried out at Centre d'Etudes de Limeil-Valenton (CEL-V) and concerning the technology for high power lasers. We briefly discuss the chemistry of the sol- gel process, the production of optical coatings, and the related deposition techniques. Finally, the paper describes the preparation and performance of sol-gel optical coatings we have developed to fulfill the requirements of a future 2 MJ/500 TW (351 nm) pulsed Nd:glass laser so-called LMJ (Laser MegaJoules). This powerful laser is to be used for our national inertial confinement fusion (ICF) program, to demonstrate at the laboratory scale, ignition of deuterium-tritium fusion fuel. Moreover, the aim of this article is, hopefully, to provide a convincing argument that coatings and particularly optical coatings, are some of the useful products available from sol-gel technology , and that exciting developments in other areas are almost certain to emerge within the coming decade.