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WebDataGrid 11.ASP.Net Grid column objects not available after code-behind databind until user physically selects the grid

I have an aspx page with code-behind which uses a javascript to trap the "enter" key when a user is searching for records.

When the user hits enter the search is performed and the datasource is updated with the results in a WebDataGrid which do appear on the page correctly. 

By default I have made it so all the results are selected in the grid and when the user clicks a process button, I read the grid's columns and do stuff to the data. The column objects aren't present when I call :

this.Master.GetGridSelectedColValue(grdSearch, "myGridColumnName");

this method returns this:  Invalid column name: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

If the user interacts with the grid by selecting a single record and re-selecting all of them and clicking the same process button on the page, then all the objects for the columns are instantiated and accessible in code-behind.

Adding a grid.DataBind() immediately before accessing the column values has no effect.