Ray optics has constituted the fundament of optical modeling and design for more than 2000 years. In recent decades, the introduction of ray tracing software has brought a powerful optical design technology to everybody dealing with optics and photonics. However, with the development and availability of advanced light sources, the capability to produce micro and nano structures, the need for high NA systems, and a boost in the variety of applications and related demands on optical functions, the limitations of ray optics become obvious more often. Optical modeling based on physical optics is required and is the logical next step in the development of optical design. This requires a generalization of ray tracing and its connection with diffractive modeling techniques.