I'm not sure what the recurring import feature has to do with hosting your database over the network so that others can access the database.
If all users have a local copy of FilMaker installed, you can open the file on the machine where the file is located with FileMaker Pro and if sharing is enabled for both FileMaker and the file (Select Sharing from FileMaker's File window), other users on the same LAN can launch their copy of FIleMaker and use Open Remote to find and open the hosted file. Upto 9 other machines can access the hosted file when FileMaker Pro hosts the database file.
If you acquire FileMaker Server, you gain the ability for a much larger number of users to access the database than the limited number that can access a file hosted by FileMaker Pro, plus additional data security, the ability to schedule scripts to run at specific times and the ability to make back up copies of your database on a regular schedule.
It is also possible to use either Instant or Custom web publishing to publish your database to the web (either local to your LAN or to the world at large) so that users can access the database with a web browser application.
Good to know Phil, thanks. The problem I ran into was when I sent the file via e-mail to myself, and tried opening the FileMaker file from another computer (that has a local copy a FileMaker), FileMaker would display an error saying it cannot retrieve the information (or something along those lines). I figured this makes sense because it seems like the reocurring import feature essentially reimports the file from the same location (on the local computer I used to originally set up the database) each time I open the file. Opening the file on another computer doesn't have the excel files in the same location, would cause this to malfunction.
I'm going to experiment a bit today and make sure sharing is turned on. The help is much appreciated.
The recurring import feature can be useful, but in a fairly limited scope of appliations so I haven't played around with it a lot. I do recall that it creates and performs an actual script. You might be able to modify that script to use Set Error Capture to supress the error dialog and use Get ( LastError ) in an If step to check for the error and display a custom dialog when the script is run on your computer so that you are still informed when the file is truly missing.
If you can't get that approach to work, you may need to create your own script for importing this data and then you can take steps to insure that the script is only perfomed on a computer set up to support the automatic import.