Virtual Profiles

Distributed virtual profiles
Virtual profiles are application resources but with an added twist as virtual profiles do not exist as single entities and are not typically persisted or stored in a single location, as entities, instead, their contents are typically distributed over different locations and the virtual profiles only exist in the application which has to gather all relevant parts from different locations or databases, for example, process the virtual profile as a structured unit and store back each modified part to its proper location, format, etc. To compound things a little, some parts may also have alternate locations and location priorities (authorativness)

Virtual profile example
A patient's medical file could be an example as parts of it may reside in each doctors' office, clinic, and hospital where the patient has ever been, yet when he is brought to an emergency ward, for example after an accident, A doctor may require access to some or all parts to understand the patient's condition and act accordingly.

Virtual profile issues
Virtual profile issues include distributed application resources issues and add their own layer of compounding issues that include tracking the parts and sub-parts, managing the entities from a subset of the parts, and evaluating alternate sources/destinations, and securing the contents and sub-parts.