With the current trend for promoting reuse instead of reinvention, the AGRIS AP has been created taking elements and refinements that are already in existence.
The concept of the application profile is not new and therefore several definitions have been provided by different communities. An article published in the Journal of Digital Information, recounts several such definitions from communities such as Z39.50, IEEE standardization, FGDC etc. 
With their experience in the European DESIRE project, Heery and Patel introduce 'application profile' as a type of metadata schema.
An application profile is a type of metadata schema which consists of data elements drawn from one or more namespaces, combined together by implementors, and optimised for a particular local application. 
In the context of the AgMES initiative, an application profile has the above definition. The elements in every application profile will consist of elements, refinements and schemes drawn from the DCMES, AgMES or any other namespace from which a term might be reused to meet the needs of the FAO applications.
The AGRIS application profile does the following:
The new AGRIS AP requirements are designed to replace the current practice with a more robust one that foresees the trend towards more and more resources being made available electronically. By adhering to the AGRIS AP requirements, it is hoped that we can see long-term benefits which will only be possible through a high level of commitment and effort.
The new requirements are expected to provide several benefits, including:
The three most commonly used terms in this document are described below for the sake of clarification.
Encoding Schemes/Controlled List
More information on technical issues regarding XML encoding using the AGRIS AP are available in the AGRIS AP Technical Guidelines at http://www.fao.org/docrep/008/ae908e/ae908e00.htm.