I was very excited to read that Serif is going to develop an Affinity Digital Asset Manager. As an Aperture user who cannot find any suitable replacement, I am hopeful that the quality and attention to detail which the Affinity products are known for will lead to an excellent option to migrate to.
Given that I presume the DAM is in early stage development, I thought it might be worth putting down some features that are important to me in the hopes that they will be considered for inclusion. In particular, Aperture (and my need for a DAM) is a key part of the process of selecting/rejecting my photos, not just organising them. This is an area where other DAMs I have tried are woefully inadequate. So in that spirit, here are features I'd like to see in an Affinity DAM, two of which are vital to my workflow (and the reason nothing out there is currently a suitable Aperture replacement):
1) Support for RAW+JPEG pairs, so that the pairs can be operated on and tagged as if they are one file, but also with the option to switch between them (in Aperture, 'Use RAW as Original' or 'Use JPEG as Original'). I don't know why RAW+JPEG support is entirely absent or functions badly in everything I've tried.
2) Aperture has an amazing compare feature making it possible to bring up two photos side by side, cycle through the one on the right and reject ones not wanted, and quickly set the photo on the right as the new 'Compare Item' on the left. As well as being able to set the star rating or rejection of the photo on the right, it is also possible to reject the 'Compare Item' on the left, set the photo on the right as the new 'Compare Item', and continue cycling through the next set of photos. All of this can be controlled from the keyboard, making it very fast to cycle through similar photos and get down to one or two picks. Whilst doing this, one can also zoom and use the loupe (again from the keyboard), and it's possible to scroll through the two zoomed photos in sync by holding down the shift key. Taken together, this results in an amazing way to quickly go through dozens of photos, make detailed comparisons, and narrow down to just a few. I honestly don't know what I'll do if I can't find something that allows such a quick and powerful selection workflow before Aperture stops working!
3) AppleScript support so it's possible to tie other tools in (such as a custom Geotagging tool I've created).
4) Support for hierarchical keywords.
5) The Stacks feature of Aperture is extremely useful in grouping together multiple versions of a photo.Of these (1) and (2) are absolutely integral to managing my photos. I could probably work around the lack of (3) and (4), though longer-term, this would keep me looking for something that offered these features. (5) is just a nice-to-have.
Hope this helps as the Affinity DAM team consider how the app will work. What do other people think, what's important to you?