The Advanced Solid State Lasers 2017 Conference (ASSL) was held from October 1 to 5, 2017. It was an extraordinary conference at the Nagoya Congress Center in Nagoya, Japan. ASSL 2017 again suggested an impressive platform where miscellaneous perceptions with a variety of approaches to optics, photonics, sensing, laser technology, laser systems, and solid state lasers were presented. This international meeting was highly selective, leading to high level contributions through one plenary conference, 17 invited presentations, 70 regular talks, and 121 posters. The present joint issue of Optics Express and Optical Materials Express features 27 articles written by ASSL 2017 authors and covering the spectrum of solid-state lasers from materials research to sources, and from design innovation to applications.