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MDI was a very "ugly" solution to having a lot of windows around, hiding-and-showing them, and "hot-swapping" menu-items: it is, imho: deservedly deprecated, now.
This seems like the kind of question appropriate for the "Design and Architecture" forum. If you post it there, I'll respond, depending on to what degree you clarify what the application is, as described next:
I think to get any meaningful responses, you are going to need to disclose much more about what the application is: what it does; who uses it; what technology you are going to use to build it (C# ? WinForms ?), etc.
I also suggest you cite (give a link to) the source of the previous discussion about MDI you refer to. And, make much more specific what you mean by the statement: "requires integration with other locally installed applications on client:" which could mean so many things.
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Haven't you wondered yet why VS2010 or VS2012 don't have a MDI mode?
MS is unapologetic.
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Ya, I have thought of it from time to time. But I'm comfortable with the design of VS because there's a lot of flexibility in the tab docking/detaching. But I also remember VB 6 which had an MDI option.
What I demoed to the customer this morning was basically the VS style - tabs with the option to "float" tabs into windows.
As soon as I get it worked out I'll write up an article and post it here.
That's what I saw in some of my research. However, if you look at how recent MS apps are developed, they really are MDI apps in disguise. Consider Excel 2010. You CAN open multiple docs in one instance, it's just not intuitive.
Semantics I guess. If you look at Excel, there can be many workbooks open at once in a single instance of Excel. That's really the definition of MDI. How the code it between the sheets is transparent to the user.