This section introduces the tool you will use during the tutorial: RAP3. This tool stores Ampersand-scripts in which you can specify, analyze and build information systems. It runs in the cloud, so all you need is a browser and click here to start using it.

Identifying yourself

RAP3 keeps your work together under a student number. So you have to log in in the system under your own student number. The first time you have to register and leave your e-mail.


RAP3 is under development. You can expect to find children's diseases in the software. Please notify us by making an issue in our issue registration system. In this way you can help improve Ampersand's tooling, for which the Ampersand-team is very grateful.

Making your first Ampersand script

When you click on the blue plus-sign on the right side in the menu bar in your screen, you get to make a new script. It opens an editor screen in which you can type your very first own Ampersand script. You might for example cut the "Hawaii" script from this tutorial and paste it in the editor. If you scroll downwards, you will get controls to compile and use it. Note that Ampersand is complicated software, so please have a little patience after pushing one of its buttons.


  1. Cut and past the script "Hawaii.adl" (from GitHub) and run it. If you have a tutor, she will undoubtedly show you which sequence of clicks will make it work. Otherwise, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and try it out on your own by clicking the buttons. During the remainder of this course you will compile and run your own scripts in this way, so it pays to familiarize yourself with it.
  2. Try to understand what you see in the script by making changes to the program. Compile and run your changes, to learn by doing. Try for instance to register a teacher for each course. Discuss and demonstrate your changes to your peers.

What have you learned?

After finishing your assignment, you have learned:

  • that specifying three relations suffices to define the data structure of the "Hawaii" application;
  • one rule in the business should lead to one rule in the code;
  • an information system may be seen as a system of relations and rules that governs data, supplemented by user-interfaces that give access to that data.

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