Thus the parsing and generating a report can be done without GUI, and could be included in some process.
However, I think this is still very limited. The tool still only helps you parse/analyze the heap dumps, but not to trigger them in the proper moment. We are currently working to enable triggering heap dumps from the GUI (see bug https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=229449). May be at a later stage the APIs can be used to trigger a heap dump as a step in some process.
Current development plans are focused on finishing some smaller features and graduating out of the incubator phase.
One area to develop after this (i.e. not right now but in near future) could be to try and integrate MAT closer within testing infrastructure (e.g. junit) - both in the IDE and in a continuous integration scenario. This is one dicection I can see for the tool and I'll be investigating into it soon. Do you (and probably other people who happen to read the post) find such an idea useful?