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KB - What are BPMN Gateways

Gateways is a BPMN notation that is used to check how a process is going. Connected by sequence flows, a gateway acts as a decision point that decides which (outgoing) decision to take based on the result of the evaluation of the given situation. A single gateway can have multiple inputs and multiple output streams. The term “Gateway” implies that there is a gate mechanism that allows or denies passage through the Gateway. If the current does not need to be controlled, then a BPMN gateway is not needed. gateways, just like Activities, are able to deploy additional control points to effectively monitor the execution of a certain process. The most important difference is that Gateways do not represent ‘work’ that is done and that they are not expected to have any effect on the operational measures of the process to be executed (costs, time, etc.).

Different types of BPMN gateways


Exclusive gateway

mceclip7In case of divergent process flows, exactly one outgoing process flow is activated. In case of convergent process flows, the outgoing process flow is activated when either one of the incomming flows arives at the gateway. Divergent flows are usually accompanied by a question with mutually exclusive answers.


Inclusive gateway

mceclip8In case of divergent process flows, one or more outgoing process flows are activated. In case of convergent process flows, all incomming activated flows must be finalised before the outgoing flow is activated.


Parallel gateway

mceclip14In case of divergent process flows, all outgoing flows are activated. In case of convergent process flows, all incomming flows must be finalized before the outgoing flow is activated.


Event-based gateway

mceclip13This gateway is always followed by catching events or catching tasks. Depending on which event occurs a process flow is activated.


Complex gateway

mceclip4These ports are only used for the most complex flows in a business process. An ideal situation for the complex port is when you need multiple ports to describe the operating flow.


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Author: Dani Juson

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