I have use the shortcut/alias method without problems for years. If FileMaker is not recommending it, it likely means some change in the protocol that will break the shortcut/alias method is in the offing. I wonder when?
Guests should open hosted databases by choosing Open Remote from the File menu and then selecting the file from the list of files open on the network. While using a Shortcut (Windows) or Alias (Mac OS) may seem like a fast and easy way to open a file as a guest, doing so is not recommended for FileMaker Pro databases. It is easy, however, to create an alternative “opener” that is just as simple to use.
An “opener” file is a file that has a script set to run automatically when the “opener” file is open that opens the specified hosted file(s) and then closes itself leaving the hosted file(s) open on the guest machine. An added benefit of an “opener” file is that it can be distributed to others on your network who need to access the file as a guest.
These directions assume you are trying to open a networked database called “NetworkedFile”
Make sure the networked database is open on the host in multi-user mode.
On one of the guest machines, create a new file that will be your “opener” file. Call it something like “OpenFile.” There is no need to define any fields in the “opener” file.
Create a new script. Call it something like “Open Files.” Your script might look something like this:
Close File[Current File]
The Open File script step opens the networked file and the Close File script step closes the “closer” file.
Save the script
Configure the “opener” file so that the “Open Files” script runs everytime the “opener” file is open. The method for setting up a script to run when a file is opened is different depending on the version of FileMaker Pro you are using:
FileMaker Pro 12 – 13:
Click FILE > FILE OPTIONS and click the “Script Triggers” tab. Put a checkmark next to “OnFirstWindowOpen” and specify the script you created in Step 3
FileMaker Pro 7 – 11:
Click FILE > FILE OPTIONS and click the “Open / Close” tab. In the “When opening this file” section, put a checkmark next to “Perform Script” and specify the script you created in Step 3.