Multiple actions with different shape key values

Is the only way to save shape key keyframes within an action by using drivers? What I’m trying to do is create multiple actions that use shape keys to export to an FBX. How can I accomplish this?

Did some research last night and the only simple solution that I could find is by making all the character actions using shape keys within one action and separating those actions within Unity. Seems tedious, but could be scripted for automation. Also, I read in the documentation for blender 2.4 that shape keys were included inside actions. Why was this removed? It seems it would be better for doing character animations when exporting for external game engines?