Check your external data sources for problems. Filemaker may be having trouble resolving an out of date file reference. This would cause a delay on opening the file the first time as you describe.
You might see something like this:
If the IP address is incorrect, filemaker takes a very long time determining that it can't open the file via the IP address and then tries the second reference in the listing such as the relative file path reference in my example.
I checked the IP address and confirmed it is correct. You mentioned out-of date file reference, I recently converted these databases from FM Pro 4.1 to the FM Pro 10.0 format. I performed the "convert" method and assumed everything converted OK. If this is a file reference problem, this could take a while to troubleshoot, right?
Our IT assistant set up the shortcut for all of our LAN users to access the opening file; (rpd2.fp7), with the following path; (fmp7://IP Address/rpd2.fp7). You mentioned (fmnet:/IP Address/filename). The opening line is different, (fmp7 vs fmnet), could this have something to do with the problem?
I appreciate you help and will look into these matters further.
I'm not talking about short cuts. Each of your database files maintains a list of file paths it uses to find and open other external filemaker files.
Make a back up copy of each file. Then:
For each file, open Manage | External Data Sources from the File menu.
You'll see a list of external file references. Select each one and click the Edit button to see text defining that external file reference. Chances are good that you'll see all kinds of gobbledygook in there as early versions of filemaker did not do a good job of managing these sources and did not expose the references where a developer could analyze and, if necessary, update them.
What you will see in most cases is a list of possible ways to locate the file. Filemaker attempts the first path listed and then keeps trying successive paths until it either opens the file or runs out of possible file paths and then generates the file not found message. Working through initial, non-functioning file references are very likely what is slowing everything down for you.
Two specific items are the most frequent culprits:
File references that include asterisks (*). These wild card references that were common in early versions of filemaker will really slow you down.
File references that refer to incorrect IP addresses or Data Source Names.
In both cases, either delete the file path or update it to use a valid IP address or DSN. (Server should have a static IP address).
I would like to thank you very much for solving this problem. Your detailed explanation made it possible for me to fix the problems with ease. The file references with asterisks (*) that you mentioned were present on several occasions as well as many other old file paths. Some of the text lines associated with file references had as many as five lines.