The 3ds Max SDK is an inherent part of 3ds Max's core. Most components shipping today in max are plugins in their own rights. We could say the the max development team is eating its own dog food and that would insinuate that the SDK is rock solid and well tested. True... Mostly.
FBX/Collada vs Alembic. I explain in this post while Alembic is very good at what it does, it differs from a general interop format like FBX or Collada and as a result, why it isn't a suitable option all the time.
Once upon a time, a while ago, the Yost group wrote 3D Studio Max and fell short in time. They thought that, by the mean of an extensible infrastructure they would finish up the product after its release and monetize any extra work required.
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