A state machine defines an application process flow at runtime. During development, you can compose an application task flow visually using the Application Composer. When you activate the application, the process flow is converted to a state machine.
States are elements of a state-machine system. An application usually has many states, and can include different types of states. Each state has a previous state and a following state, unless it is the initial state or the final state. There can be only one initial state, but, depending on user interaction, there can be many final states.
An initial state is the first state in an application, and only handles state transitions to follow-up states, based on transition rules. The initial-state is Start Application, which is created automatically when you create an application, and cannot be deleted. By default, the name of the initial state is the same as the name of the application.