Gateways are used to control how Sequence Flows interact as they converge and diverge within a Process. If the flow does not need to be controlled, then a Gateway is not needed. The term “Gateway” implies that there is a gating mechanism that either allows or disallows passage through the Gateway. As tokens arrive at a Gateway they can be merged together on input and/or split apart on output as the Gateway mechanisms are invoked.

The Gateway controls the flow of both diverging and converging Sequence Flows. That is, a single Gateway could have multiple input and multiple output flows. Modelers and modeling tools might want to enforce a best practice of a Gateway only performing one of these functions. Thus, it would take two sequential Gateways to first converge and then to diverge the Sequence Flows.