All file operations, including reading a file based datasource (XML, JSON, OData, etc.) use a Windward access provider. Access providers exist for all the common protocols (file servers, basic, digest, OAuth2, etc.). And if you need something different, you can write your own access provider - once. And it then handles any access of files using that protocol. (ref: Ohana)
OK, this is another case of it's all Office. We're just along for the ride. You can turn on change tracking, add comments, etc. to the template providing a record of who changed what in the template.