News from the project

The Case for BPMN Token Simulation

Published by Nico Rehwaldt on Friday, 01 December 2023.


Over time token simulation transitioned from an experiment to a powerful tool to learn BPMN and its execution semantics. Let us examine how it contributes to the vision of the project.

When we incorporated in 2014, we focussed on bpmn-js, our BPMN viewer and modeling toolkit. We had one vision at that time: BPMN everywhere, for everyone.

Times passed, toolkits for CMMN, DMN, and forms joined the family. Not much has changed regarding our vision: We remain committed to making fundamental bits of process communication technology accessible to everyone, everywhere, where needed.

Everywhere, for Everyone

Everywhere, for everyone, is where embeddability and extensibility meet accessibility.

For once, our tools are easily embeddable into any browser-based application. All you need to have is a basic understanding of core web technology. Equipped with that, you can transform any website into a fully-fledged BPMN or DMN editor. When our stock editors don't fully support your use case, we provide you with a comprehensive set of examples on how to customize our tools deeply.

Then again, what is a BPMN or DMN editor if it is not accessible? We're discussing standardized but complex visual languages that you must learn to use effectively. Our tooling plays an integral role; it shall be friendly and supportive enough. Empower, not overwhelm you, the user.

Token Simulation: A Fundamental Learning Tool

We built token simulation more than five years ago as an experiment. How well could we integrate moving tokens onto the bpmn-js core editor? Already in its early days, it was well received by the community, being used in BPMN trainings and other occasions to visualize how BPMN works.

At the core, it is, and always has been, a powerful learning tool for BPMN execution semantics. To be a reliable help, it has to adhere to the standard it set out to explain. Realizing this, we evolved token simulation from a single instance token visualization into a powerful, BPMN spec-compliant engine.

Exploring BPMN compensation with bpmn-js-token-simulation

Let's learn how BPMN compensation works.

Nowadays, several BPMN editors embed token simulation. BPMN learners around the globe use it to understand the standard in a playful manner.

Or Gateway included

Today token-simulation@0.32.0 ships long-awaited support for inclusive gateways. With that, we complete our support for all no-magic BPMN elements.

Inclusive gateway simulation support in bpmn-js-token-simulation

Play with forking and joining inclusive gateways in token simulation.

Try it out or explore the full capability demo.


In this post, we made the case for BPMN token simulation as a fundamental BPMN learning tool.

We look forward to directly incorporating the tool into our official tool demo site, someday. Until then, go to the dedicated token simulation demo and let these tokens flow.

As always, we rely on your feedback! Reach out to us via our forum or GitHub and help us to improve our BPM tooling, for everyone.

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