Access Database Add-On
If TntConnect doesn't do exactly what you want, and you know how to use Access 2000, you can develop custom Access solutions to enhance TntConnect. TntConnect has a special feature called "Link to Access Database". This takes an existing database and adds read-only links to tables within TntConnect. This way you can add your own tables, queries, forms and reports and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code modules. For a better explanation follow this link: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa141493(office.10).aspx Keep in mind in this illustration that the "Back End" database is the TntConnect file (*.mpddb) and the "Front End" database is the Access 2000 database (*.mdb) that you told TntConnect to link.
Windows Application Add-On
More advanced developers will appreciate the fact that TntConnect provides programmatic ways to create and update linked Access databases via the command line. For help on this feature, run "TntConnect.exe /?" from the command line. The location of TntConnect.exe can be found in the registry at "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\TntWare\TntConnect\InstallPath". Each add-on can create and maintain its own link to the database without requiring the user to manually establish the link.
TntConnect's Database Structure
As to the layout of the underlying tables. You will find that most tables use the first field as their primary key. For example, the main table is called "Contact". The primary key is "ContactID". The gift table has a field called "ContactID" that links back to the person who gave the gift.
Changing Data in TntConnect?
The linked database is to a read-only copy. If your add-on is going to change data in TntConnect, you'll have to make changes directly in the TntConnect database. A TntConnect 3.1 or newer database is an Access 2000 database (subject to change). If you do make changes to data in the TntConnect database, it may be required to perform the File|Maintenance task when you are done. Open TntConnect. Click on the "File" menu ... select "Maintenance". From the maintenance screen, recalculate mailing, money and history data. These steps are recommended for the program to operate correctly. Also, each table has a "LastEdit" field that needs to be updated for TntSync to work correctly.
Adding your Add-On to the "Tools" menu in TntConnect
Look in the Windows registry (using regedit.exe) at the key: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\TntWare\TntConnect\ExternalTools\"
(or if you're on 64-bit Windows look at: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\TntWare\TntConnect\ExternalTools\")
TntSync is provided as an example of how you can register your add-on under the "Tools" menu.
Each tool can specify certain values: Category (if you want a sub-menu), Target (what get's executed when you click the menu ... can be anything that runs under the Windows "Start" menu ... "Run"), IconTarget (where you want the menu extracted from for the tool's menu item), and Shortcut (if you want a keyboard hotkey such as "Ctrl+F1" for running your add-on), Parameters for additional command line parameters sent to your application.
In the Parameters, you can include "currentgroup.csv" somewhere, and it will be replaced with the name of an actual file which represents an export of the current filtered list of contacts in TntConnect's contacts view. This allows your add-on to do something with the current group.
Mail Merge Handler
TntConnect includes built-in support for merging with Microsoft Word 2000 and newer. You can replace this with your own Mail Merge functionality. For some documentation on how to integrate your add-on with TntConnect, look in TntConnect's installation folder under "\Developer Notes\External Handlers.zip".
App Exit Handler
If you want your add-on program to get called when TntConnect exits, look for the example in TntConnect's installation folder under "\Developer Notes\External Handlers.zip"
There are some add-ons currently available for TntConnect.