BPMN gateway

BPMN Gateway is a kind of flow objects which is used to direct sequence flows within a process, based on certain condition(s). It acts like a gate that either allows or disallows passage, and possibly control the selection of outgoing flow that pass through the gateway.

A typical use of gateway - for modeling a situation of decision making
A typical use of gateway - for modeling a situation of decision making

Gateway types

In business process modeling with BPMN, there are several kinds of gateway for different kinds of control behavior, such as making decision, branching, merging, forking and joining.

Gateway type
Representation Description
Exclusive Exclusive or Exclusive An exclusive gateway can be used to model alternative paths within a flow. It is where the diversion takes place.
Event-based Event-based
An event-based gateway can be used to model the alternative paths that follow the gateway which are based on events that occur instead of the expression of flow.
Inclusive Inclusive
An inclusive gateway can be used to model alternative and parallel paths within a process. Unlike exclusive gateway, all condition expressions are evaluated. All the outgoing paths that give a positive result of evaluation will be taken.
Complex Complex
A complex gateway can be used to model complex synchronization behavior.
Parallel Parallel
A parallel gateway can be used to create and join parallel flows. It creates the paths without checking any conditions.

Different types of gateway

Showing internal indicator "X" for exclusive gateway

You can optionally show the letter "X" inside the shape of exclusive gateway to distinguish it from other gateways (see the table above). To do this, right click on the background of business process diagram and select Presentation Options, then select Gateway Display Options > Data-Based gateway Markers Visible from the popup menu.

Related Resources

The following resources may help you to learn more about the topic discussed in this page.

4. Event Table of Contents 6. Sequence and message flows