RCL CertificateBot for Windows


RCL SSL CertificateBot runs as a Windows Service in a Windows hosting machine. The Windows Service will run every seven (7) days to automatically renew and save SSL/TLS certificates from a user’s subscription in the RCL SSL Portal to the Windows hosting machine.

Automatically Renew SSL/TLS Certificates

You can use RCL SSL CertificateBot to automatically renew SSL/TLS certificates created in the RCL SSL Portal using the the following creation options :

‘Stand Alone’ certificates are not supported by RCL SSL CertificateBot. Use the HTTP AutoRenew instead

Install RCL SSL CertificateBot

If you have an older version of the RCL CertificateBot installed in your hosting machine, you should completely delete it and install the new one.

Download the Files

  • The Windows Service files (certificatebot-win-xx) are available in the GitHub Project page in the Releases section:

  • Download the zip file with bitness

    to match your Windows bitness

  • Extract the zip file to a folder on your Windows hosting machine after it is downloaded

Configure the Service

Register an AAD Application

An Azure Active Directory (AAD) application must be registered to obtain permission to access a user’s Azure resources (DNS Zone).

Please refer to the following link to register an AAD application:

Set Access Control for the AAD Application

Access control must be set for the AAD application to access resources (DNS Zone) in a user’s Azure subscription. Please refer to the following link to set access control :

Get the AAD Application Credentials

To obtain the following credentials from the AAD application:

  • ClientId
  • ClientSecret
  • TenantId

follow the instructions in this link :

Get the SubscriptionId

Get the Subscription Id in the RCL SSL Portal.


  • Scroll down and copy the ‘Subscription Id’


Register the AAD Application’s Client Id in the RCL SSL Portal

The AAD Application must be associated with a user’s RCL SSL subscription. This is achieved by registering the AAD Application’s Client Id in the RCL SSL Portal.

To add the AAD Application’s Client Id to the portal, please follow the instructions in this link :

Add the Configuration variables

  • In the folder containing the files for the Windows Service that you extracted, find and open the appsettings.json file

  • Add the credentials for the AAD Application and SubscriptionId in the RCLSDK section :
    • ClientId
    • ClientSecret
    • TenantId
    • SubscriptionId
  • In the CertificateBot section, set a folder path to save the SSL/TLS certificates. Recommended path : C:/ssl

    • saveCertificatePath
  • Note : when setting the folder path , use forward slashes(/) in the path name, eg. C:/ssl . Failure to do this will result in inability to run the windows service.

  • Create the folder in the server and ensure it has read/write permissions so that the certificates can be saved to it.

  • The includeCertificates settings will allow for including specific certificates by its name (eg: “contoso.com” or “contoso.com, *.contoso.com” - for SAN) for the certificate(s) you want to save on the server.


  "CertificateBot": {
    "saveCertificatePath": "C:/ssl",
     "includeCertificates": [
       "adworks.com, www.adworks.com"

Example of a configured appsettings.json file

  "Logging": {
    "LogLevel": {
      "Default": "Information",
      "Microsoft": "Warning",
      "Microsoft.Hosting.Lifetime": "Information"
    "EventLog": {
      "LogLevel": {
        "Default": "Information",
        "Microsoft.Hosting.Lifetime": "Information"
  "RCLSDK": {
    "ApiBaseUrl": "https://rclapi.azure-api.net/public",
    "SourceApplication": "RCL SSL CertificateBot Windows",
    "ClientId": "35ca82aa-9ff3-5a67-bb7f-c3c71027eecf",
    "ClientSecret": "hdytev539dgw~_8-g4lNI84V01.yIDUMHh",
    "TenantId": "22cd4a8c-bc2c-3618-b1c3-4610c1b9b3e8",
    "SubscriptionId": "879"
  "CertificateBot": {
    "SaveCertificatePath": "C:/ssl",
    "IncludeCertificates": [
    "IISBindings": []
  • Save the appsettings.json file when you are done.

Create the Windows Service

  • Open a Command Prompt in the Windows server as an Administrator

  • Run the following command to install the Windows Service. Replace the < file-path > placeholder with the actual path where your windows service zip files were extracted

sc.exe create CertificateBotWindows binpath= <file-path>\RCL.SSL.CertificateBot.Windows.exe
  • After the service in installed, open Services in Windows, look for the CertificateBot service and Start the service


  • Set the Properties of the service to start automatically when the hosting machine starts


View the Event Logs

  • Open Event Viewer, under ‘Windows Logs > Application’, look for the RCL.SSL.CertificateBot.Windows events


  • Ensure that there are no error events for the service. If there are error events, the service is misconfigured and will not function

  • Each time a certificate is downloaded and saved in the server or a certificate is scheduled for renewal, a log will be written

Fixing Errors

If you encounter error events for the service in the Event Viewer, please stop the service and delete it completely.

Ensure the ‘appsettings’ configuration is correct for the AAD Application and the certificate save path settings point to a folder that exists.

Fix any other errors that are reported then, re-install and restart the service.

Deleting the Windows Service

If you need to remove the Windows Service for any reason, run the command to delete the service

sc.exe delete CertificateBotWindows  

Updating the Service

If you need to update the service to include other certificates, follow these steps:

  • Stop the service and delete it
  • Change the appsettings.json file to include additional certificates
  • Re-create the service and start it

Reset the Service

If you need to reset the service because of a error or corrupted certificate renewal, follow these steps :

  • Stop the service and delete it
  • Delete all certificates and their folders in the directory in which certificates are saved
  • Re-create the service and start it

Installing Certificates in Web Servers

RCL SSL CertificateBot will automatically save renewed SSL/TLS certificate files to a folder in the hosting machine. You should then configure the web server to use these files to implement SSL/TLS in your website.

Certificate Files

The SSL/TLS certificate files will be stored at the path you specified in the appsettings.json configuration file. In this example, we used the path C:/ssl to store the certificate files.

When configuring the web servers, you will reference the specific certificate files stored at that path in a folder generated by CertificateBot for a specified domain.

The following files are downloaded and saved on the server :

  • certificate.pfx - The PFX certificate file
  • primaryCertificate.crt The primary certificate file
  • fullChainCertificate.crt - The full chain certificate file
  • caBundle.crt - The intermediate certificate file
  • privateKey.key - The certificate’s private key file

Configuring the Web Servers

Please follow the links below to configure your web server: