Gateways and Email Tasks


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Control the flow of tasks executions


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.

Manual 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. 

Automatic Decision

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!

Email tasks

Email tasks are quite useful to send auto-created and formatted emails including important workflow information to other users or groups in the company. Those emails can be created based on a template including placeholders, which gets filled automatically with the actual workflow information from the fields at the moment they are sent out by the system.

The maximum size for an email is 10 MB including attachments.

Email tasks belong to the Main actions group and can be simply selected by clicking on them.

Add the email actions to your workflow where necessary. 

In your email template, there are several fields to be filled in order to make sure the email gets sent correctly. 

With # existing workflow fields can be referenced, so the email gets filled with the actual information.
  • Sender Name
  • To (receiver)
  • Reply to (receiver of the answer)
  • Subject
  • Attachments (files from the workflow can be added)
  • Email text

With gateways and email tasks, you're perfectly prepared to create powerful workflows including automated decisions and even customized dynamic emails now!

Case Study

We're going to look at how to create an Employee Onboarding Workflow by applying the knowledge learned in this lesson. Make sure you signed up for your free 30-day trial and have access to the software. 

3rd Step: Add Gateways and Email Tasks to Automate the Onboarding Workflow

The following tasks are required to make our currently onboarding workflow more realistic and automated.  

  1. Add Parallel Gateways. Make sure, the tasks for the IT Team (set up account and prepare laptop) are independent of the task Assign Buddy.
  2. Add Exclusive Gateways. Make sure, the task Order business cards gets only executed if the checkbox Business cards required in the trigger form has been answered with YES.
  3. Add Email Tasks to inform the Buddy. After the Buddy was assigned, ensure the Buddy receives an email including the name and start date of the new hire. Also, the tasks for the Buddy should be mentioned (do a company tour, show all important places, etc.) in the email.
  4. Send a welcome Email to the new hire! Add an email task, which welcomes the new hire and includes all relevant data for a smooth start (name of the Buddy, company email address, agenda of the first day). Be creative! :)

After adding the gateways and email tasks, your workflow should look similar to the example below.

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