A process token refers to the current point of execution within a process.  Tokens help us figure out how a process works.

  • Start events create tokens.
  • Tokens follow the sequence flow and pass through activities and gateways.
  • Gateways can replicate (split) or synchronize (join) tokens.
  • End events consume (destroy) tokens.
  • An instance of a process is completed when all tokens are consumed.

If you want to learn more about BPMN tokens, Zbigniew Misiak has written a series of related articles on his BPM Tips blog:

If you want to go really deep, check out Chapter 13: BPMN Execution Semantics in the BPMN 2.0 specification.