SmartMenu Technical Specifications

SmartMenu is based on version 3.5 of the .Net Framework to minimize setup hassles given that this version of the Framework is installed by default on Windows 7.

Menu Files (MenuSets) are Encrypted For Your Security StartGen stores MenuSets locally in encrypted ".sgn" files using the .Net Framework ProtectedData Cryptography API. The encryption is tied to the Windows account that created the MenuSet, so you can't simply copy these files for others to use. This was done to prevent tampering of what is launched when a start menu option is selected, and also to hide SQL connection string information such as passwords.

If you are not using SmartKb, the simplest way to transfer MenuSets to other users is the Tools -> Export/Import options. Note that passwords for sql searches are removed when you export to XML.

Data Recovery

SmartMenu automatically saves the last 30 versions of each MenuSet in the \Users\[username]\AppData\Local\StartGen\Backups\AutoBackups folder. The "Edit->Undo" option automatically switches to the last saved version. After that it displays a list for you to choose from.

Using Our Mobile Cloud Platform

When publishing SmartMenus to the cloud for use on your mobile devices, your password is stored in a one-way hashed state so that BrainDance Software does not know your password. We only know if you entered the same password that we have on record. Nonetheless, it is always a good practice to use a unique password for each site you visit.

The email/password combination you use to publish SmartPages to the cloud is used for accessing all cloud services we offer now and in the future.


The definition of the Parent menu options and the Sql Database Search options allow you to indicate which application should be used to view the menu option when selected. StartGen includes two starter viewers: DataViewer and MultiLinkViewer. In the Program Files/StartGen4/Apps/MultiLinkViewer folder you will find the StartGenModel.dll which both of these apps use to load the XML files written by StartGen when the user selects the menu option. These XML files include everything except SQL passwords, which are passed as a command line parameter to the viewing application.

var cmdlineargs = ParameterHelper.ParseArgumentArray(args);
SqlSearchProvider provider = (SqlSearchProvider)MenuProvider.FactoryMethod(cmdlineargs.FileName);
string pwd = cmdlineargs.Password ?? string.Empty;
SqlSearch item = provider.GetSqlSearchItem(pwd);
if (null == cmdlineargs.SearchCriteria)
crit = "";
crit = (args.Length>1)
? cmdlineargs.SearchCriteria[0]
: "";

var frm = new SearchView(item, crit);
frm.Width = SearchPresenter.FormSettings.FormWidth;
frm.Height = SearchPresenter.FormSettings.FormHeight;

For total control over search functionality, you can build your own exe and add a link to it via the "Custom search application shortcut" option from the "Add" drop down list in the SmartMenu designer toolbar.