Default Gate and other BPVA frustrations

After using this tool for a while I can see its usefulness for diagramming processes easily, with good reporting tools provided allowing for easy sharing of processes with others. However I have a few beefs, and a good way to get into them is with an example:

When defining a Gateway, one option in the Specifications dialog is to define a Default Gate. Not being sure what this implying, I choose Help. At this point I get nowhere because the built-in Help simply defines the basics of how to navigate within the tool, how to enter model elements, etc. without giving the user any idea of what the characteristics are of the elements, what the various options in the Specifications dialog mean, etc. etc.

Going back to the OMG spec, I see that a Gateway may have a default Gate associated with it; their example shows it on a diagram with a sequence containing the “default” (backslash) indicator. So, I decide that I want a default gate. However then the dialog prompts me for a name for it, as well as an outgoing sequence flow to choose from. So, I make up the name “default” and choose an appropriate sequence I’ve previously drawn. When complete, I look at the diagram: nowhere do I see anything labelled “default”, and the sequence itself is not marked-up with the backslash indicator. Not good: at this point I feel that I wasted my time and should have just drawn things, even though they would not be reflected properly in the Specification for the Gateway.

So I try again: this time I go into the Gateway Specification then attempt to edit the default gate. This time I tell it to create a new sequence. This opens up another dialog for the new sequence. I give it a new name, but it won’t let me enter anything for “From” and “To”. I indicate that it is a default sequence and then I accept / exit the dialogs. And the diagram shows… nothing! My new sequence is nowhere to be found, neither in the diagram or within the diagram navigator.

This all begs the question: what elements of these property specifications are actually hooked up to anything, including diagrams and reporting? The tool shows a high degree of flexibility in allowing for many elements to have Categories vs. Properties vs. References vs. Relationships vs. Comments vs. Inputs vs. Outputs vs. IO Sets vs. Assignments: I’m sure I’ll find some of these in the BPMN spec, but otherwise they mostly look to me as just more detailed / organized bits of information that comprises the documentation for the elements themselves.

I really need some sort of tutorial as to “why” I would use some of these, rather than just “how”. I’m trying to write-up some best practices as we are planning to buy a set of licences soon: some help would be appreciated!


Hi Cameron,

Thank you for your post. I invite you visit this page:

Scroll down a bit and read the two paragraphs under the second image from the above link. There you will find information about Default Gate.

In order to indicate a sequence flow as default, please right-click on it and select Condition Type > Default from the popup menu.

I understand your difficulties in understand when and why a business model object is used. We will consider adding more hints to the tool to help users understand these. Sorry for any inconveniences it may cause you.

Best regards,

Thanks… but I think you missed my point. I know how to define default sequences from a gate by directly drawing it as such (which is probably easiest), but my question was more around the behaviour of the “Default Gate” aspect of the Specifications tab for the gateway, not the sequence.

Maybe I’ll just re-iterate: is there a reference within your tool / site (and not the BPMN spec) which defines the impact of some of the more obscure properties / values that can be entered into a specification sheet / tab from the perspective of diagram and / or report appearance? In this example it seems that defining a “default gate” for the gateway had no effect on the diagram at all (and especially was not reflected in the sequence’s appearance or properties). I suspect that some of these are holdovers from your UML tools (e.g. private vs. collaboration vs. abstract) that may not be directly relevant to BPMN (but harmless).

Also: I could not for the life of me find the description you were referring to in the hyperlink (other than the fact that it points to the generic BPMN spec): could you please quote it directly? (Although I don’t think it answers the questions I’m posing above.)