Rule Sets in Author Studio

  • Updated

The contents of this article pertain to the current version of Author Studio released in the fall of 2023. If you have not updated to the newest version of the product, see our Archived Author Studio Documentation here.

A rule set is a container for a group of logically related rules and actions. Rule sets are functionally significant because they establish when and how the underlying rules are executed. This is accomplished by setting the Fire and Run Modes for the rule set. Rule sets may also be activated and deactivated individually or by category to further control the flow and behavior of rule execution.

Rule sets can be created in both irAuthor® and Author Studio™. Read more about creating rules in Author Studio in the article, Creating a New Rule Set

Three Types of Rule Sets in Author Studio

Entity Rule Sets

Entity Rule Sets are based on an entity context and apply to all instances of the entity. They are the most commonly used of the three rule set types. The associated entity establishes the authoring and execution context for the rule set to operate against, essentially defining which fields are available to the rule set.

One goal when authoring rules is to keep the logic in a rule set as atomic as possible without having to reach across contexts; an Entity Rule Set lends itself to this approach as it defines a limited and relevant logical context for the rules. Entity Rule Sets are typically the recommended authoring model for new users.

Decision Rule Sets

A decision always begins with a DecisionStart rule set and contains a set of inputs that can be different from its outputs. The rules within a Decision execute against the inputs and then the outputs reflect the results. Decisions allow authors to only pass in the data that is needed to make a decision. Decision Rule Sets always use explicit fire mode.

These rule sets will appear only under Decisions and not on the Rule Sets page.

Independent Rule Sets

Independent Rule Sets do not have an inherent associated entity context like Entity Rule Sets or Decision Rule Sets. They are currently disabled and will be available in future releases of Author Studio.

Rule Set Workspace

Rule Set Workplace.png

1. Name

Rule set name. Click the rule set name to load the rules page. The rules page will show all the rules within the selected rule set.

2. Context

Identifies the context for the rule set.

3. Fire Mode

Identifies the selected Fire Mode for the rule set. Make modifications to the Fire Mode by selecting the rule set to load the properties panel.

4. Modified By

The user that last modified the rule set.

5. Date Modified

The time the rule set was last modified.

6. New Rule Set

Create a new Decision Rule Set or Entity Rule Set.

7. Test Rule Set

Opens the test workspace for the selected Rule Set. This is •

8. Delete Rule Set

Delete a Decision Rule Set or Entity Rule Set by hovering over the rule set to see the Delete icon on the far right of the row. The items under the rule set will also be deleted.


When you select a Rule Set from this list or create a new Rule Set, the Rule Set page will open.

Rule Set Properties

Rule Set Properties.png

1. Name

The title of the rule set is saved here.

2. Description

The description of the rule set is saved here.

3. Fire Mode Settings

Fire Mode Setting.png

Rule sets are functionally significant because they establish when and how the underlying rules are executed. The Fire Mode allows you to select when the rule set will fire.

Decision Rule Sets always use explicit fire mode. Therefore, the Decision Rule Set properties panel will not show the fire mode settings.

Auto Sequential

Auto Sequential specifies that the rule set and its associated rules are always "on.” Unlike Auto Optimized rule sets, Auto Sequential rule sets execute in the order they appear in the list. These rule sets will fire any time a dependency for a top-level rule condition changes as the result of running a subsequent rule set.

Auto Optimized

The engine will automatically recalculate a condition within the rule set any time any of its dependent values change. These rule sets do not fire in the order they are authored—the engine decides the sequence based on a proprietary optimization algorithm. These rule sets will continue to fire until all of its conditions are satisfied. Only a limited set of actions are available in an optimized rule set.

Auto Single Pass

Auto Single Pass rule sets execute in the order they appear in the list, and execute only once, even if a dependency for a top-level rule condition changes during execution of a subsequent rule set.


An Explicit Rule Set will be executed only when explicitly instructed to do so by an action or calling application. An Explicit Rule Set is appropriate for procedural operations and will not get re-fired automatically by the engine.

4. Enabled
If this toggle is set to on, it means you want the rule set to run during execution. If it is set to off,  it will not run during execution.

Rule Navigator

The Rule Navigator displays the selected information in a tree. The Rule navigator is visible: 

  • Once you select a rule set from the rule set workspace.
  • and after you select a decision and then choose a ruleset under the Rule Set List on the decision page.

NAvigation of Rule Sets.gif

Rule Navigator Features

Rule Navigator Features.png

1. Rule Navigator View Selector

You can use these buttons to select how much of your screen you want the rule navigator to occupy. 

Rule Navigator View Selector.gif

2. Rule Set 

The name of the selected rule set is shown here

3. Expand All and Collapse All

You can click on the expand all symbol to expand all of the rules in the rule set at once. Or you can select the collapse all symbol to hide all of the child rules in the rule set. 
Child Rules.gif

4. New Rule or Action

This serves as an option for quickly adding a new rule or action to your rule set. 

Add Rule or Action from Rule Navigator.png

5. Options

Clicking here gives you the options for interacting with the rules and actions in the list. The options are dependent on the selected item.
Rule Navigator - Rule Options.png

IF Options

The options available for IF are shown below. 

IF options.png

ELSE IF Options

The options available for ELSE IF are shown below. 

ELSE IF Options.png 

6. Autosave

This page has an autosave function, but if you see this symbol, the changes are not saved yet. If you would like to leave this page, click Save changes. 
Save changes.png

All changes have been automatically saved when this symbol is showing

All Changes saved.png

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