As optical (CDROM and magneto-optical and soon DVD) storage becomes cheaper and more widespread, a range of application developers are looking at using it to increase the capabilities of their products. These can come from fields as diverse as engineering (CAD/CAM), office automation (DIP) and broadcasting (multi-media archives). Developers working in these areas, while being experts in their own fields, do not usually have any detailed knowledge of how to interface to the wide variety of optical storage hardware on the market. They are faced with a choice of either trying to adapt their software to work an off-the-shelf package, or implementing complex interfaces and device drivers themselves. The first option will almost certainly lead to a compromise solution, with both performance and functionality sacrificed in the effort to integrate the two very different packages; the second will involve the developer in a very long and costly development cycle, as they try to acquire the necessary expertise in optical technology themselves. This paper describes some of the issues faced in development for these devices.