Layouts, scripts, tables, fields are all inert until used. When the layout is opened then the contents of the layout, related fields, graphics and so on become an issue.
So, the media rich layouts that are not used would not affect any other layout's speed of loading. There are possible exceptions to this statement.
I believe that separate files for remote users are almost required if the files are hosted and the remote users are being a client only and they can only connect via the Internet and not enter data in the file they are using.
To create the dumb client make a copy of the file on the server. Now open the Relationship Graph and click on each TO, copying the name of the To, and repoint it to the same table in the file on the server. The name should now be in Italics. Paste or enter the original name of the TO.
You now how a file with all of the TOs pointing to the server file. All of the scripts and layouts work with your file on the server.
You can assign a copy to each person based on their account. Delete in this clones all of the other accounts except the full access account. Rename the full access acccount to something wierd like 34rasdfpo8e43749949433de and the same with the password. You won't be opening this file again. If you use Filemaker Advanced you can remove the full access acount which is even better.
Now you give each person their own unique file. You could delete all of the sccripts and layouts they do not need to reduce the size and design each for the specific device.
Usiing this idea you can create the two file concept:
- The Data file which only has the tables and a minimum of scripts and layouts
- The GUI files which contain the alias TOs as described above and are custom designed for the account.
The True value of this concept shows itself when the device is lost. You instantly change the Account Name and password locking out the lost file. The finder only has a shell file with no data.
I have more on this and other info on my blog: http://www.gofm.biz