Index profiles let your applications send documents for indexing to a consistent endpoint (the index profile endpoint) and change the underlying index pipeline as needed.
An index profile is also a simple way to use one pipeline for multiple collections, without any one collection "owning" the pipeline. Associating a profile with an index pipeline, or an index pipeline and a collection, is simply a mapping.
Finally, you can also specify configuration parameters for an index pipeline in the index profile.
You can use the API or UI to manage index profiles.
Index profiles are configured at Indexing > Index Profiles.