Feature service vs. map service layers in custom application

Discussion created by Mypenny21 on Jun 27, 2013
I am a relatively novice user of ArcGIS Server and have a question about feature and map services.  I work at a small consulting firm that works with the financial industry and we are building a custom application using the Silverlight API for our clients that will incorporate a web map.  We have a cloud deployment of Server (not Amazon).  I've read the literature on map and feature services and still can't determine which is necessary for what we want to accomplish.  Our application will allow our users to not only view the map features, but also interact with them (query, export table, select, change symbology, etc).  However, our users will NOT need to edit any geography or attribute values.  What is the best way to do that?  Have the application create a feature LAYER from the features in a map service or use a published feature service?  Our developer partners are experts in Silverlight but do not have a lot of experience with ArcServer.  Thanks for any help in helping us understand best practices for fast and efficient dynamic maps.