• 4 August 2022
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This article is about the pc:ConfigRulesService Blend directive.


Configures a named Rules Service with an encrypted password and, optionally, installs and starts that Rules Service. Also, optionally, first stops and uninstalls a (differently configured) Rules Service previously running on the same port. To run an anynomous Rules Service, use pc:RunRulesService instead.

If you supply a port number (recommended), the configuration step consists of writing a configuration file in the USoft BIN directory, silently overwriting any existing file with the same name. There is no return value.

If you do not supply a port number, no configuration file is produced. Instead, there is a return value: what would be the configuration file's contents is returned as a text document.

You can base your new configuration file on an existing configuration file.

Calling pc:ConfigRulesService may be compared to configuring a Rules Service manually through the ure.config wizard accessible from USoft Binder's Rules Service item.


port="{ port-number | freeport }"





<pc:RunRulesService/> |



templatefile ::= path

message-mode ::= { developer | enduser }
tls ::= { yes | no }
autostart ::= { yes | no }
definitionsfrom ::= { Auto | DictTable | DictLocated }
flatfilelocation ::= { null | path }

languages ::= { DEFAULT | language-name }
decisions ::= { null | decision-name }
interval ::= { 0 | integer }
idletimeout ::= { 0 | integer }
servertimeout ::= { 600 | integer }

loglevel ::= { No Logging | Error | Information | Debug }
logdir ::= { usoft-log-dir\rules_engine | absolute-path }
logfilenameprefix ::= { application | name-literal }
minengines ::= { 1 | integer }
maxengines ::= { 50 | integer }

The port attribute is not required. If you omit port, no configuration file will be generated but instead, what would be its content is returned as a return value.

To specify port, typically you choose a 4‑digit port number (eg., 7777). See the section "Choosing a port number...” later in this article. The port number you choose must not be occupied by any other program on the host computer. If you specify port=freeport, USoft Blend will assign a transient port number to the Rules Engine.

port=freeport is not generally recommended.

The servicename attribute is optional. If you provide it, the configuration file generated is:


If you do not provide servicename, the configuration file generated is:


where port is the value of the port attribute.

In either case, usoft-bin-dir is the directory returned by:

SELECT RulesEngine.GetProperty( 'BinDir' )

The required owner is the database user who owns the application tables. This is typically the same user as user.

The required password is the human-readable version of the password that will be stored in encrypted form in the configuration file.

The optional alias attribute allows you to specify a string that can be used as a handle for referring to the configured Rules Service in subsequent calls. If you do not pass alias, then the configured Rules Service can still be referenced by an internal name traceable by pointing at the alias attribute of the directive's embedded XML. If you plan to install the Rules Service as a Windows service you can refer to the name of the Windows service, so that in this case you may not need an alias. The alias value is allowed to be any literal string value.

The optional select may be used to point at an existing .config file from which you want to copy configuration settings. See "Configuring a Rules Service on the basis of an existing file" later in this article.

In addition to writing a configuration file, you can start a Rules Service with the configuration described. If you want to do this without declaring the Rules Service as a Windows service, include the following child directive:

<pc:RunRulesService />

To start the Rules Service as a Windows service, include one or more of the optional child directives instead, as necessary. (If the Windows service is new, all you need is to install and start it. If it already exists, but with a now obsolete configuration, then you want to stop and then uninstall it first.)


In this use, the <pc:RunRulesService> and the 4 <pc:Service...> directives must have empty content and they must be direct child elements of <pc:ConfigRulesService>, not grandchildren or descendent elements at a lower level.

When you install a Windows service in this way, the Rules Service is installed as a Windows service by the following name:


The list of possible attributes of pc:ConfigRulesService corresponds to the list of Rules Service settings that you can set in USoft Binder's Rules Service Property Sheet and in the ure.config wizard. Details are in the "Manual configuration..." section below.

For each optional attribute, if you omit the attribute, the indicated default will be applied.

Flatfilelocation is only allowed to be other than null if you set definitionsfrom to DictLocated.

If you omit logdir, the log directory will be set to the rules_engine subdirectory of the USoft log directory that you chose during Setup.

If you omit logfilenameprefix, the Logfile Name Prefix will be set to the value that you pass for the application attribute.

Choosing a port number for a Rules Service

On its host computer, each USoft Rules Service must run on (must be listening at) a port number that is dedicated to it. (The same applies to an SFW server - a server defined in the USoft Services Framework.)

For each Rules Service you need, best practice is to make a clear choice between 2 alternatives. One gives you a temporary Rules Service and the other a permanent Rules Service:

  Temporary Rules Service Permanent Rules Service
Port number range 10000 - 99999 (5-digit) 1000 - 9999 (4-digit)
Create in Blend with pc:RunRulesService pc:ConfigRulesService
Choose port number yourself No Yes
Register as Windows service No Yes
Stops automatically when script ends Yes No
Use cases USoft Blend scripts, batch processing Interactive use of USoft application in Production

Finding a dedicated port number

If you run a temporary Rules Service with pc:RunRulesService, USoft Blend will automatically find a so-called transient port number in the 10000-99999 range (5‑digit numbers). This is guaranteed to be a free port number, ie., a port not in use by any other process on the host computer while the Rules Service is running. You do not normally need to access the transient port number, but you can by applying the XPath expression


to the embedded XML of pc:RunRulesService.

If you create a permanent Rules Service with pc:ConfigRulesService, choose the port number yourself from the 1000-9999 range (4‑digit numbers). This choice is a delicate matter because you must steer clear of ports used by other programs. Port numbers often found to be occupied include 1521 (Oracle), 1433 (SQL Server) and 8080 (Apache). Also, if you are using both Rules Services and SFW servers, these must all use different port numbers.

There is some tradition in the USoft community to use 7777, 7778... for Rules Services and 8090, 8091... for SFW servers.

Advantages of temporary Rules Services for USoft Blend

In USoft Blend scripts, for any operation that requires access to a Rules Engine, best practice is to use a temporary and not a permanent Rules Service because:

  • A free port number is found automatically.
  • The Rules Service is automatically cleaned up after use (ie., when your script ends or terminates).

An exception to this are Blend scripts whose purpose it is to test runtime application behaviour, because you want such scripts to simulate end user access to specifically configured, permanent Rules Services.

Registering your Rules Service as a Windows service

Typically you will register (install) a permanent Rules Service as a Windows service. This way, the service will show up in the Services panel, which is a standard Windows administrative tool. You will benefit from manageability and fail-over features visible in this panel.

USoft recommends using the port number as part of the Windows service name, even if this is not common practice for Windows services generally. A consistent naming strategy for Windows services, with port numbers appearing in the names, makes it much easier to manage port numbers occupied by USoft.

Thus, the best Windows service names for USoft Rules Services are RulesService-7777, RulesService-7778 ... The best Windows service names for USoft SFW servers either start with the word "USoft" or with the USoft application name, for example, USoft-TRAVEL-8090, TRAVEL-8090 …

To install a Rules Service as a Windows service in a USoft Blend script, you typically call pc:ConfigRulesService with the <pc:ServiceInstall/> child element..

To install an SFW server as a Windows service in a USoft Blend script, you typically call pc:ServiceInstall.

Configuring a Rules Service on the basis of an existing file

If you have an existing Rules Service .config file, you can configure a new Rules Service based on the settings in that file.

In this example, a new Rules Service with port number 7778 is based on configuration settings for an existing Rules Service at port number 7777. This is done by retrieving the parameters from the RulesService-7777.config file in the select attribute of pc:ConfigRulesService:

  • Settings not specifically passed in the call to pc:ConfigRulesService are copied from the existing file.
  • Settings specifically passed in the call to pc:ConfigRulesService (in the example, the owner setting) overwrite the corresponding setting found in the existing file.


<example xmlns:pc="Processing.Command" >
<pc:assign-nodeset mynodeset="{rulesservice:ReadConfig('c:\usd91\bin64\RulesService-7777.config')/config/param}" />

Manual configuration of a Rules Service

A manual alternative to calling pc:ConfigRulesService is to make settings manually in USoft Binder by adding a Rules Service item:

  • Call up the Property Sheet for that item using the right-mouse Properties option.
  • From this Property Sheet, you can install and start the Rules Service by pressing buttons.
  • You can then configure the Rules Service further by pressing the Configure button. This starts the ure.config wizard, which has help information on each setting that you can do. At the end of the wizard you can start the underlying Rules Engines.

The table shows how the attribute names of pc:ConfigRulesEngine map to the prompt names in the Property Sheet and ure.config wizard screens.

pc:ConfigRulesService ure.config
messagemode Messages
tls Use TLS
peerlist Import Configuration Data - Peer Rules Service
autostart Auto start
definitionsfrom Definitions from
flatfilelocation Flat File Folder
languages Language
decisions Iterated Decision
interval Decision Interval
idletimeout Idle Timeout
servertimeout Connection Timeout
loglevel Log Level
logdirectory Log Directory
lognameprefix Logfile Name Prefix
minengines Minimum no. of Rules Engines
maxengines Maximum no. of Rules Engines


2 replies

<pc:ConfigRulesService/> also has the attribute "servicename”. If you specify this, the windows service will be installed with that name, otherwise the default name is used: Rulesservice-<portnumber>.

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Attribute “servicename” added.