Query ArcGIS Server or arcpy and local features

Discussion created by jeanmark.wright on Aug 15, 2012
Hi, I'm building an web application will accept a user input and query several layers for their values as well as do some processing to determine intersections, whether the user's geometry touches a layer in the system and so on. I'm very new to arcpy so I just need some general guidelines.

    Is it a bad approach to try and read the shapefiles on disk or from geodatabase to get all the answers I need, or should I...
    Should I let the user publish the layers (or use arcpy to publish the layers) then construct the identify url to the ArcGIS Server and work with that response?