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Version: 8.5

Exclusive gateway

An exclusive gateway (or XOR-gateway) allows you to make a decision based on data (i.e. on process instance variables).


If an exclusive gateway has multiple outgoing sequence flows, all sequence flows except one must have a conditionExpression to define when the flow is taken. The gateway can have one sequence flow without conditionExpression, which must be defined as the default flow.

When an exclusive gateway is entered, the conditionExpression is evaluated. The process instance takes the first sequence flow where the condition is fulfilled.

If no condition is fulfilled, it takes the default flow of the gateway. If the gateway has no default flow, an incident is created.

An exclusive gateway can also be used to join multiple incoming flows together and improve the readability of the BPMN. A joining gateway has a pass-through semantic and doesn't merge the incoming concurrent flows like a parallel gateway.


A conditionExpression defines when a flow is taken. It is a boolean expression that can access the process instance variables and compare them with literals or other variables. The condition is fulfilled when the expression returns true.

Multiple boolean values or comparisons can be combined as disjunction (or) or conjunction (and).

For example:

= totalPrice > 100

= order.customer = "Paul"

= orderCount > 15 or totalPrice > 50

= valid and orderCount > 0

Additional resources

XML representation

An exclusive gateway with two outgoing sequence flows:

<bpmn:exclusiveGateway id="exclusiveGateway" default="else" />

<bpmn:sequenceFlow id="priceGreaterThan100" name="totalPrice &#62; 100"
sourceRef="exclusiveGateway" targetRef="shipParcelWithInsurance">
<bpmn:conditionExpression xsi:type="bpmn:tFormalExpression">
= totalPrice &gt; 100

<bpmn:sequenceFlow id="else" name="else"
sourceRef="exclusiveGateway" targetRef="shipParcel" />