Sorry - left out that we are on Windows XP SP3 and running FileMaker in single-user mode.
The hosting application is FMP client or FMP server?
The hosting computer's IP address is xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx?
You are opening with "Open Remote" under FMP client software?
Your network setup.
Are alll your computers on a single router? This would mean their IP address would be 192.168.1.xxx or 10.0.0.xxx normally.
If the computers are on different routers with different first three octals (192.168.xxx.xxx vs 192.169.xx2.xxx) this could explain the delay. Restarting routers is often recommended as a first troubleshooting step.
If you have an IT department, contacting them would be a first step.
More info (thanks David for the prompts):
We are using a FMP client version with a database located on a server, and the users access the database with FMP client over a WAN. We open the database by navigating to the server (or create a shortcut to the database on our individual desktops).
We do work for a very large company with it's own IT department and help desk (overseas unfortunately). How do I phrase the problem so they would even understand it enough to help? I'm not sure they would know the routers used here in our building.
Navigating directly to a shared file is very dangerous. It can easily result in a corrupted database file. It should be first opened on the server with either a copy of FileMaker Pro or FileMaker server and then each client should launch FileMaker, using Open Remote... to find and open the hosted file.
We're handicapped in our efforts to help you due to the fact that you are using a very old version of FileMaker. We know of things to look into for current versions, but they aren't viable options for your system.
Given the current trends in both Mac and Windows operating systems, you will need to upgrade fairly soon or you may find that you can no longer acquire a new computer that will run this very old version of FileMaker.
Thanks for the tips. I guess we'll just have to wait until we get a later version of FMP to see what our options are...
For my own edification, what is the difference between "Open" and "Open Remote"? I see both on the menu, but we never used the "Open Remote" option. Does "Open Remote" require more licenses, or a license of a Server version of FMP?
Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't quite understand why the method we are using to access the database would be dangerous (any more dangerous than opening an Excel file from a network)? We've been using this method for 18 years and I think we've only had a corrupted file a handful of times (when the network connection dropped, forcing the user to exit the database unceremoniously). This could happen with any program with any file. If someone is in the database already, FMP let's us know, so we never have problems with it.
Open Remote... examines your network and lists every file that is already open and available for access. This allows FileMaker to serve as the "traffic controller" to manage network access to the file.
FileMaker Inc. Techs have for many years advised against opening files directly from a shared directory. If two or more users happen to try to open the file at the same time, the file can be damaged. Opening the file this way also results in much slower performance than having FileMaker Pro or FileMaker server, installed on the server machine, host the file for you.
What you say about the need for a more sophisticated FMP deployment does makes sense (especially in a more "intense" environment than what we are currently experiencing). I think we have been lucky over the years because of the small number of users (8), the limited time we access the database (maybe 5-6 times a day for a couple of minutes), and the fact the database only has several thousand records.
My problem is I can't see how I could justify to management the extra cost for new or added licenses just for this annoying startup issue, because everything else about the database has been running so smoothly for many, many years. Until FMP 5.5 won't run on our systems because of an OS issue, I think we are stuck where we are....
Thanks for your suggestions and help.
Keep in mind that upgrading such an old copy to a new version of FileMaker is not a trivial exercise. It would be a good idea to convert before you have to do so in a hurry.