Gateways come from the BPMN notation and are used to control how a process flows. Connected by sequence flows, a gateway acts as a decision point that decides which outgoing sequence flow to take based on the result of the evaluation of condition(s) specified.
In SAP Signavio Process Governance, there are 2 types of Gateways:
- Exclusive Gateway
- Parallel Gateway
Exclusive Gateways (XOR)
An exclusive gateway lets the user make a choice. It basically forks the process into several branches, where each branch is based on a certain condition depending on the decision made by the user in the task.
The exclusive gateway selects one of the outgoing transitions and continues execution on that transition. Use this option when you want to make a choice (approve vs. reject). You can then configure an exclusive gateway with a manual decision or an automated decision.
Use a manual decision for an exclusive gateway when a person must make a decision. A user task must precede the gateway which includes the user making a decision. SAP Signavio Process Governance will then ask you to input choices (approve vs. reject) on the user task form.
Let's look at an example of Reviewing a Contract. In the review contract task, the user makes a decision. The result (approve or reject) is defined as a condition on the exclusive gateway to control the next corresponding task.
Once you select the exclusive gateway, a pop up box will appear and now you have the option to choose an Automatic or Manual decision. If you choose the manual decision, you'll be asked to type in your choices. Select the buttons below to learn more about the Manual Decision layout.
If the decision type is set to Automatic, the exclusive gateway will show the defined conditions which are based on certain field values. This way, field value based decisions can be automated and without any user interaction, which makes the process independent of availability of the user.
Parallel Gateways (AND)
A parallel gateway represents concurrent tasks in a business flow. You can use this to model tasks that people will complete at the same time, or one at a time but not in a particular order. To do this, you split the sequence flow with a parallel gateway.
With a parallel gateway, you can split one execution into multiple, concurrent flows. For example, in the contract change workflow, there would be two tasks that happen at the same time, Adjust contract and Document changes.
The parallel gateway ensures, both tasks are assigned at the same time and must be completed, but they don't need to be started at the same time. In fact, it's up to the user to document the adjustments while making them or to do it afterwards.
You also use a parallel gateway to merge concurrent paths back together. Workflow execution will wait at the gateway until both tasks are completed before proceeding with the next task.
Using the same example, the team will receive the notification only after the adjustments have been made AND they are documented.
Which gateway and decision type need to be used to meet the requirement?
Well done! You've learned already that decisions can be automated, and you understood the use of gateways very well! Let's have a closer look now, how to enrich workflows with automated notifications!