I’ve been using Websphere (8.5.x) for the first time recently. Not a fan, I have to say – certainly not when using in a development environment.

This is probably due in no small part to having to run on an underpowered virtual desktop, which struggles when running Websphere, IDE and database client simultaneously.It generally runs pretty slowly, but very occasionally Websphere becomes unresponsive to the point where I have to kill it at the process level.

This has always occurred during a deployment where I’ve been updating a WAR – which leaves it in a state with the application I was trying to update being removed from the Enterprise Applications console.

Any attempt to reinstall the WAR at this point gives the following error (frustratingly, only at the very end of the install process):

com.ibm.websphere.management.exception.AdminException: A composition unit with name MY_WAR already exists. Select a different application name. 

(where MY_WAR is your application name)

The only way round this that I have found is to see if any of the following directories exist:


Delete these directories and restart the server. You can then reinstall MY_WAR in the usual way (console or script).

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Websphere Woes – “A composition unit with name ‘X’ already exists”
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