Instead of calling the runtime "deprecated" you should not only keep, but make it stronger, more versatile and a unique selling point for FMP Advanced developers.
What could be done? A lot:
- At least limited Network capabilities for up to 3 or five seats: https://community.filemaker.com/ideas/1135
- PDF generation in runtimes: https://community.filemaker.com/ideas/1132
- Native business graphics in runtimes
- Runtimes ready for Mac App store publication
- Runtimes based on FM GO technique ready for IOS Appstore publication
- Ability to have the primary file in documents and the runtime in programs - runtime should remember where the primary file is
- Option to create a first database from within the runtime at first start, so that only one file has to be distributed on MacOS and iOS
- Runtime maker should be able to codesign the runtime with a developer certificate
- More options for generating the runtime (which languages, which dictionaries to install, icons for runtime and datafiles)
- Auto update mechanism: https://community.filemaker.com/ideas/1058
- Themes optionally looking like standard Mac OS, Windows and iOS software. Optionally automatic change of these themes regarding on which platform the runtime is used.
- Integrated fonts or font installer like the plugin install mechanism, so that the runtime starts correctly even if the needed fonts are missing on the target system.
- Get rid of this damn bug with FMStrs.dls being "protected"
- Make the runtime smaller/more effective by deleting the layout mode icons in the resources folder (missing love to detail ...)
All this would make FMPA the No 1 database development for Mac and iOS business software by far. Even on the Windows platform it could grow to a dominant development tool instead of being viewed as mediocre.
FM Developers could serve millions of small customers with runtime solutions, FMI would sell far more FMPA licenses (they could be more expensive too) and there would be a far larger chance to get new customers to FM, since the entry to the FM World would be easier and broader.
Don´t think that everybody just wants the Cloud - people in Europe don´t want it, especially not for their business data. So Webdirect is no alternative for the runtime.